The White House avoided questions about President Obama’s position on constitutional rights for unborn persons, after Hillary Clinton’s controversial comments on the subject.
During a conversation on NBC’s Meet the Press, Clinton was asked about the subject by host Chuck Todd:
TODD: When or if does an unborn child have constitutional rights?
CLINTON: Well, under our laws currently, that is not something that exists. The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.
During the White House press briefing, press Secretary Josh Earnest was questioned by Breitbart News if the president agreed with Clinton’s view. But Earnest steered away from the controversial topic, reminding reporters that Obama supported “a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”
He added that he had not seen Clinton’s remarks, which caused controversy from both pro-life and pro-choice activists.
In 2008, then-presidential candidate Obama was asked a similar question about personhood within the womb during a forum with Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church.
Pastor Warren: I know this is a very complex issue. Forty million abortions, 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.
It appears that the topic is still above Obama’s pay grade, even though he has been the president for seven years. The White House cited the president’s 2008 remarks in response to a followup with their press office.