George Akerlof, a Koshland Professor of Economics at the University of California-Berkeley and 2001 Nobel Prize-winning economist, contradicted the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBDCP) use of his research in a public statement opposing the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.
In the “Science Facts on the RH Bills in Plain Language” article on the CBCP for Life website, the CBCP states “Contraceptives bring about the downgrading of marriage, more extramarital sex, more fatherless children, more single mothers, according to the studies of Nobel laureate, George Akerlof.”
In a written response, Akerlof said, “In my opinion, giving women, whether single or married, the right to choose can only increase the dignity of marriage and its sanctity.”
Akerlof had not previously known that his research, which was on American out-of-wedlock childbearing, was cited in the Philippines by opponents of the RH Bill. He was moved to comment on the issue after being contacted for comment by a freelance journalist who noticed the CBCP’s citation of his research on their website.
When asked about his stance on the bill, he wrote: “I support fully, and without qualification, the bill in the Philippines to promote, without bias, all effective natural and modern methods of family planning that are medically safe and legal.”
“Contraceptives and abortion, in my opinion, make family life richer and more rewarding because they reduce the number of unwanted children, which is bad for the family, and also bad for the children as well,” he added.