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Ageing gametes and embryonic death: a response to Bovens
  1. Ashley Graham Kennedy
  1. Correspondence to Ashley Graham Kennedy, Corcoran Department of Philosophy, 120 Cocke Hall, P.O. Box 400780, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA; apg7b{at}


Luc Bovens, in his 2006 article, argues that it can be shown that the ‘rhythm' method of birth control results in a larger number of embryonic deaths than the IUD, the morning after pill or the combination oral contraceptive pill, just so long as one accepts his three ‘plausible’ assumptions. In this brief response I will argue that Boven's third assumption is not plausible when one takes into account a basic knowledge of human reproductive biology. Thus, his argument, in both of its possible reconstructions, fails.

  • Philosophical ethics
  • philosophy of medicine
  • embryos and fetuses

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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