There are gradations in this assertion. Some contend that the fetus represents a human person from the moment of conception; others are closer to the position that the fetus represents potential human life, and, as such, qualifies for certain rights and protections (Dworkin, 1993). Many believe that the fetus should be protected under the constitution as a person, and there has been a movement to add that statement to the constitution. In a slightly different way, one law professor contended that the government had the right to protect the interests of the fetus (even if it were not constitutionally considered a person) because it had the right to protect the interests of creatures who were not persons, such as animals (Ely, 1973).
In a second argument, which relies at least partially upon the first, opponents of abortion contend that the state has compelling reason to regulate abortion for several reasons, including the fact that it is murder. Thus, they assert that society should regulate abortion and make it difficult to obtain or the worth of life may be devalued. Some conservative theologians and religious leaders have contended that the question is not really whether or not the fetus is a person, but the dignity and intrinsic value of human life, of which the fetus is a potential member (See Ramsey in Baird and Rosenbaum, 1989). Opponents contend that abor