I didn’t watch Rick Warren’s Saddleback Presidential Forum — if I had two hours to spare, I’d spend them doing something a lot more enjoyable than watching the last nails get hammered into the “No Non-Christians Need Apply” sign on the White House. I did read the transcript, though, and without further ado, here are some Follow-up Questions I’d Like to Ask Barack Obama:
WARREN: At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?
OBAMA: Well, you know, I think that whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.
ME: Let me reassure you, Senator, that nobody’s expecting the definitive answer to this question from a political candidate. What is your personal view on the question of when a human being begins to have human rights? What philosophical and legal principles shaped that view?
OBAMA: And so I think anybody who tries to deny the moral difficulties and gravity of the abortion issue, I think, is not paying attention. So that would be point number one.
ME: Some abortion advocates are celebrating the removal of the language stating that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare” from the Democratic platform. They believe that it denigrates women to say that abortion should be rare, and consider the new platform a victory for their view that giving birth to a child and aborting her are equally moral choices. Do you agree with their interpretation?
OBAMA: And so, for me, the goal right now should be — and this is where I think we can find common ground. And by the way, I’ve now inserted this into the Democratic party platform, is how do we reduce the number of abortions? The fact is that although we have had a president who is opposed to abortion over the last eight years, abortions have not gone down and that is something we have to address.
ME: What are your goals for abortion reduction? You may use whatever metric you like. What outcome would constitute success for your policies, and what would constitute failure?