The focus of the abortion debate in the United States tends to be on whether and at what stage a fetus is a person. I believe this tendency has been unfortunate and counterproductive. Instead of advancing dialogue between opposing sides, such a focus seems to have stunted it, leaving advocates in the sort of “I did not!” – “You did too!” impasse we remember from childhood. Also reminiscent of that childhood scene has been the vain attempt to break the impasse by appeal to a higher authority. Thus, the pro-choice forces hoped they had proved the pro-life forces “wrong” by having had the Supreme Court of the United States decide in Roe v. Wade that a fetus is not a person for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment. Now the pro-life forces are trying to prove the pro-choice forces “wrong” by passing legislation or a Constitutional Amendment that declares a fetus to be a person after all! I believe that there is a better, more productive way to approach the abortion debate, and that is the way the law has historically approached the concept of person.
Charles H. Baron. "The Concept of Person in the Law." The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 11, (1985): 52-63.