(Trigger warning: this story mentions rape.)
Presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao on Friday said women who got pregnant out of rape and incest should be given counseling suppor to help them reset their lives instead of legalizing abortion, adding the victims played a "part" in conception.
The senator and recently retired boxing champion asserted his conservative Christian stand during his turn on celebrity talk show host Boy Abunda's presidential interviews, saying babies should not be faulted for being conceived out of rape or incest.
"I'm against the abortion, Boy, alam naman natin yan," the 43-year-old Pacquiao said.
"Wala naman kasalanan yung bata na ibuntis siya tapos ipanganaka dahil siya galing sa ano, wag naman maapektuhan ang bata sa mga nangyari," he said.
There will be "healing" in counseling, Pacquiao said. "May pagbabago pang mangyayari at i-counseling yung mga na-rape na hindi pa namana tapos ang lahat may pagasa pa magbago ang lahat mag-normalize lahat. Maintindihan ang lahat na nangyari sa 'yo yan. Alam mo naman gagawin natin? Kung maibalik natin ma-prevent yung ma-rape ka."
Pressed by Abunda how counseling would go, Pacquiao said: "Hindi nila maintidihan basta kagagahasa pa lang. Kumbaga, hindi nila maano yan kasi sariwa pa ang sugat. Pagalingin mo muna ang sugat and then doon mo ma-realize, ipaintindi sa kanila."
Pacquiao said the counseling could take a couple of months (ilang buwan). "Share the word of God, ito yung kinabukasan mo na haharapin. May maganda pang kinabukasan. Baka yung batang ipapanganak mo, yan pa yung isa sa magiging inspirasyon sa lahat ng tao pagdating ng panahon, maturuan lang ng husto. Maituwid mo ang buhay mo."
Pressed about the woman's right to choose for her own body, Pacquiao said: "Yung bata, nabuo yan, may part ka din yan."
Even in cases of rape? Pacquiao said: "May part ka din dyan na sa bata na nabuo. Hindi namana mabuo yan kung sa lalake lang e... pinilit ka pero ibig sabihin pwede pa maghilom, pag masugatan maghihilom," he said.
Asked about women seeking abortion because continuing the pregnancy could put their lives at risk, Pacquiao told Abunda that it was a "good question," adding, "Nasa 'yo, magdesisyon ka."
Pacquiao had credited his faith for turning his life around from gambling and womanizing. However, his views have drawn the ire of women's and LGBTQIA+ groups.
He once said gay people were "worse than animals", costing him his Nike endorsement. He later apologized for the remarks and claimed he respected queer people.
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