The "born alive" rule is a legal principle that holds that various aspects of the criminal law, such as the statutes relating to homicide and to assault, apply only to a child that is "born alive". List of countries by homicide rate Homicide ( Latin homicidium, homo human being + caedere to cut kill refers to the act of killing another A live birth occurs when a Fetus, whatever its Gestational age, exits the Maternal body and subsequently shows any sign of life such as voluntary Recent advances in the state of medical science have led to court decisions that have overturned this rule, and in several jurisdictions feticide statutes have been explicitly framed or amended to include fetuses in utero. Feticide or foeticide is an act that causes the death of a fetus A fetus (or foetus or fœtus) is a developing Mammal or other Viviparous Vertebrate, after the Embryonic stage and For the Nirvana album see In Utero. In utero is a Latin term literally meaning "in the Uterus "
The born alive rule was originally a principle at common law in England that was carried to the United States. Common law refers to law and the corresponding legal system developed through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive Its original basis was that because of the (then) state of medical science and because of the rate of still births and miscarriages, it was impossible to determine whether a child was a living being at any given time prior to birth. This inability to determine whether a child in the womb was in fact alive, and would be successfully born, had ramifications with respect to the laws relating to assault and to homicide. (It is not possible to kill a child that has already died, for example. ) Thus the act of a live birth was taken to be the point at which it could be reliably determined, in law, that the various laws applied. 
However, advances in the state of the art in medical science, including ultrasonography, fetal heart monitoring, and fetoscopy, have since made it possible to determine that a child is alive within the womb, and as a consequence many jurisdictions, in particular in the United States, have taken steps to supplant or abolish this common law principle. Fetoscopy is an endoscopic procedure during Pregnancy to allow access to the Fetus, the Amniotic cavity, the Umbilical cord, and the fetal side 
As of 2002, 23 states in the United States still employed the rule, to lesser or greater extent. 
The abolition of the rule has proceeded piecemeal, from case to case and from statute to statute, rather than wholesale. One such landmark case with respect to the rule was Commonwealth vs. Cass, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where the court held that the stillbirth of an eight-month-old fetus, whose mother had been injured by a motorist, constituted vehicular homicide. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Vehicular Homicide ( or sometimes known as Vehicular Manslaughter) in most states in the United States is a crime By a majority decision, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts held that the fetus constituted a "person" for the purposes of the Massachusetts statute relating to vehicular homicide. In the opinion of the justices, "We think that the better rule is that infliction of perinatal injuries resulting in the death of a viable fetus, before or after it is born, is homicide. ". 
Several courts have held that it is not their function to revise statute law by abolishing the born alive rule, and have stated that such changes in the law should come from the legislature. A legislature is a type of representative Deliberative assembly with the power to create amend and change Laws The law created by a legislature is called Legislation In 1970 in Keeler v. Superior Court of Amador County, the California Supreme Court dismissed a murder indictment against a man who had caused the stillbirth of the child of his estranged pregnant wife, stating that "[T]he courts cannot go so far as to create an offense by enlarging a statute, by inserting or deleting words, or by giving the terms used false or unusual meanings [. . . ] Whether to extend liability for murder in California is a determination solely within the province of the Legislature. "
Several legislatures have, as a consequence, revised their statutes to explicitly include deaths and injuries to fetuses in utero. The general policy has been that an attacker who causes the stillbirth of a fetus should be punished for the destruction of that fetus in the same way as an attacker who attacks a person and causes their death. Some legislatures have simply expanded their existing offences to explicitly include fetuses in utero. Others have created wholly new, and separate, offences.