MANILA, December 12, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Despite a surprise knock-out defeat Saturday in Las Vegas against Juan Manuel Marquez, world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who is also a Philippines congressman, was in the legislature December 12 to urge his fellow lawmakers to vote against the controversial Reproductive Health Bill.
The bill, which forces taxpayers to fund contraception and abortifacients, was protested strenuously by the nation’s Catholic leadership and faithful, but was pushed by President Benigno Aquino and internationally by pro-abortion groups. Pro-life groups fear the legislation will eventually lead to legalized abortion.
After receiving a standing ovation for the honor he has brought the nation as the world’s top boxer for the last 10 years, Pacquiao immediately put his fame and national recognition to work for life.
Addressing his fellow legislators immediately after the standing ovation he said (speaking in both the Filipino tongue – Tagalog—and English):
In the dying seconds of the 6th round of my fight against Marquez, a single punch knocked me out.
For more than two minutes I was lying unconscious, motionless.
My wife cried, members of team Pacquiao cried, my friends and fans cried when they saw I was not moving at all. Some thought I was dead.
What happened in Vegas strengthened my already firm belief of the sanctity of life.
Manny Pacquiao is pro-life, Manny Pacquiao is voting no to House Bill 4244.
Click “like” if you are PRO-LIFE!
However, despite Pacquiao’s intervention, the bill passed second reading by a narrow margin of 113-104.
It is not the first time the boxing legend has used his reputation in service of life and family. In May of this year he expressed his belief in the sanctity of marriage as between one man and one woman, and for that was banned from The Grove, a mall in Los Angeles where he was scheduled to have a television interview.
While campaigning against the RH bill, alongside the Philippine Bishops last year, Pacquiao said he never would have been born had his poor, unemployed parents turned to contraception. He called on his fans to back the Church and “follow God’s command, not man’s.”