Did Kamala Harris Omit Right to ‘Life’ When Referencing the Declaration of Independence?

Claim: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris made a speech about reproductive rights Jan. 22, 2023. She mentioned “liberty” as well as “the pursuit of happiness” but didn’t mention “life” in reference to the Declaration of Independence rights.

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who was in Tallahassee (Florida) marking the 50th anniversary Roe v. Wade’s Supreme Court decision which established a constitutional right for an abortion, gave a speech in which she urged Americans to make abortion rights a part of federal law. Numerous media outlets and social media users focused on one section of Harris’ remarks. In it, Harris referred to the Declaration of Independence. Harris claimed that Harris “omitted” or “omitted” the reference to “life”, which is an unalienable human right. Here’s an example:

It’s not surprising that Kamala Harris renounced God and the right of life under the Declaration of Independence. “She worships abortion,” stated the Twitter account Life News, an antiabortion news outlet.


“VP Harris leaves of [sic] by their Creator’s and ‘life out of her Declaration of Independence quotation,” Jeryl Bier, a freelancer writer, tweeted. He linked to an archived copy of C-SPAN’s transcript of the speech.

True, Harris did mention rights in the Declaration of Independence but she didn’t say “life”. According to both the White House’s official transcript and video evidence:

We are all here because we believe that America is a promise. America is a promise. It promises freedom and liberty, not just for some but for all.

We made a promise in the Declaration of Independence that each of us has the right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

Make sure you are clear. These rights were not given to us. These rights belong to Americans. It is this freedom and liberty that has allowed generations of Americans to set their own course and determine their future with ambition and aspiration. This is the strength of our country.

The Declaration of Independence, verbatim, reads:

These truths are self-evident. We believe that all people are created equal. That Creator has given them certain unalienable rights. Among these are Life, Liberty, and Happiness. Governments are established among men, derived from the consent of the governed. […]

We reached out to the White House to find out why Harris didn’t say “life” when referring to inalienable right. We are still waiting for a reply. This report will be updated if and when we receive one.

We should note that historians have many interpretations of what the Declaration of Independence says about “life” and “liberty, the pursuit of happiness.” One of these interpretations is that “life”, which refers to a state of being and a quality of existence and literally the possibility of being alive, is not a matter of death. Neither the U.S. Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence mention pregnancy or abortion.