In an ad put out by the Family Research Council, FRC President Tony Perkins responds to the Senator from Illinois by asking, "If, as you say, fatherhood begins at conception, when does life begin?"
An excellent point. If fatherhood begins at conception, so does human life. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot suggest that fatherhood begins at conception but human life does not. As Dr. & Mrs. J.C. Willke explain in their book "Why can't we love them both: questions and answers about abortion," "Biologic human life is defined by examining the scientific facts of human development. This is a field where there is no controversy, no disagreement. There is only one set of facts, only one embryology book is studied in medical school. The more scientific knowledge of fetal development that has been learned, the more science has confirmed that the beginning of any one human individual's life, biologically speaking, begins at the completion of the union of his father's sperm and his mother's ovum, a process called "conception," "fertilization," or "fecundation." This is so because this being, from fertilization, is alive, human, sexed, complete and growing."
In his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II said that: "Some people try to justify abortion by claiming that the result of conception, at least up to a certain number of days, cannot yet be considered a personal human life. But in fact, "from the time that the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already. This has always been clear, and ... modern genetic science offers clear confirmation. It has demonstrated that from the first instant there is established the programme of what this living being will be: a person, this individual person with his characteristic aspects already well determined. Right from fertilization the adventure of a human life begins, and each of its capacities requires time-a rather lengthy time-to find its place and to be in a position to act". Even if the presence of a spiritual soul cannot be ascertained by empirical data, the results themselves of scientific research on the human embryo provide "a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of the first appearance of a human life: how could a human individual not be a human person?" (No. 60).
During his Father's Day speech, Senator Obama slipped. Even though his record on abortion speaks for itself (he supports even partial-birth abortion, which amounts to infanticide), by telling his audience that fathers need to recognize their responsibility doesn't end at conception, he was admitting that at conception "a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor the mother" but instead "the life of a new human being with his own growth" which the father is responsible for.
And, if a father's responsibility is just beginning at conception, what of the responsibility of the State to guarantee this new human being his or her rights: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?" (Declaration of Independence).