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ELECTION 2008 | Obama, Biden Discuss Views on Conception, Abortion Rights on Sunday Shows

ELECTION 2008 | Obama, Biden Discuss Views on Conception, Abortion Rights on Sunday Shows
[Sept. 8, 2008]

Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in an interview on Sunday on ABC's "This Week" said that his response to a question during an interview last month on when human rights are conferred was a little "too flip," adding that all he wanted to express was that he does not "presume to be able to answer these kinds of theological questions," the New York Times reports. The original question came from an interview with the Rev. Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in California, in which Obama said that determining when human rights are conferred was "above my pay grade" (Phillips, New York Times, 9/8). On Sunday, Obama said that what he "intended to say is that, as a Christian," he has "a lot of humility about understanding when" human rights are conferred, adding, "It's a pretty tough question" (AP/Kansas City Star, 9/7).

Obama called abortion a "moral issue" and added that it was one that "families struggle with all the time." He also said he does not believe that the government "criminalizing" choices made by those families is the "best answer for reducing abortions," adding that the "better answer" is to determine how to provide women who have difficult or unintended pregnancies "the kind of support they need to make a whole range of choices, including adoption and keeping the child" (New York Times, 9/8).

~ Video of Obama's "This Week" interview is available online (Stephanopoulos, "This Week," ABC, 9/7).

Biden Discusses Views on Conception

In related news, Obama's vice presidential running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he believes life begins at the moment of conception. Biden, a Roman Catholic, said that people who disagree with him "believe in their faith and they believe in human life" and that he is "prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception" (New York Times, 9/8). Biden also said that it seems "inappropriate in a pluralistic society" to impose his views on "everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout" than he is (AP/Kansas City Star, 9/7).

~ Video and a transcript of Biden's "Meet the Press" interview is available online (Brokaw, "Meet the Press," NBC, 9/7).