Pro-life presumption

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A pro-life presumption is an underlying principle that respects the life and rights of the unborn. This presumption requires that ambiguities in the law are resolved in favor of the unborn.

In addition to logic, there are several bases for the pro-life presumption. One basis is in the Declaration of Independence, another basis is in the common law, and a third basis in the U.S. Constitution.

Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence supports the pro-life presumption in several ways. First, the Declaration is that:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal ....

This does not say that all men are "born" equal, but that they are "created" equal, which occurs before birth.

This timeless statement in the Declaration of Independence also acknowledges the existence of "self-evident" truths, which do not require any textual basis. The pro-life presumption is one of those truths.

Second, the Declaration of Independence recognizes that everyone is endowed by God "with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." This "right to life" is a fundamental right.

Common Law

"Qui in utero, est pro jam nato habetur quoties de ejus commodo quaeritur," which is Latin for the common law principle that "He who is in the womb is considered as already born as far as his benefit is considered."[1] Hence the unborn have the same rights as those who have been born.

See also