Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Does birth matter?
  1. Walter Veit
  1. School of History and Philosophy of Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Walter Veit, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; wrwveit{at}


This paper is a response to a recent paper by Bobier and Omelianchuk in which they argue that the critics of Giubilini and Minerva’s defence of infanticide fail to adequately justify a moral difference at birth. They argue that such arguments would lead to an intuitively less plausible position: that late-term abortions are permissible, thus creating a dilemma for those who seek to argue that birth matters. I argue that the only way to resolve this dilemma, is to bite the naturalist bullet and accept that the intuitively plausible idea that birth constitutes a morally relevant event is simply mistaken and biologically misinformed.

  • abortion
  • applied and professional ethics
  • infanticide

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Twitter @wrwveit

  • Contributors WV is the sole author of this piece.

  • Funding This study was funded by "A Philosophy of Medicine for the 21st Century” (Ref: (FL170100160)).

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

Other content recommended for you