Champion boxer Manny Pacquiao has sided with the Philippines' Catholic bishops in a continuing controversy over a reproductive health bill that would fund access to free contraceptives.
Pacquiao said he would never have been born or become an international boxing champion if his poor, unemployed parents practiced birth control.
'God said go forth and multiply. He did not say go and have just one or two children,' the boxer said after a May 17 meeting with officials of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.
In addition to being an eight-division world champion and the first boxer in history to win 10 world titles, Pacquiao is also a member of the Philippines House of Representatives.
He said that life is God's gift that no man or government can rip asunder, according to CBCP News. He blamed poverty on corruption, not population size.
The boxer called on his fans to rally behind the Catholic Church and 'follow God's command, not man's.'