April 20, 2024

International pressure to force Costa Rica to legalise IVF

Government is resisting

Activists are determined to haul Costa Rica
before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights to force the Central American
country to legalise IVF. In 2000, its Supreme Court declared that IVF violated
the right to life of surplus embryos. This effectively made IVF procedures

Subsequently, according to a report in the
IPS news service, 10 Costa Rican couples appealed to the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), arguing that the ban violated their right
to form a family.  In August the
IACHR agreed and told the Costa Rican government to revise the law to conform
to international conventions.

The government has fought back by
introducing a bill on IVF which declares that every IVF embryo must be used,
which effectively makes storing frozen embryos impossible. The bill also
requires a special psychological test for couples wishing to undergo IVF.

The IACHR has declared that if there is
“insufficient or no will” on the part of the government, it will
refer the case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.  The Court and the Commission are bodies
set up by the Organization of American States to uphold basic rights and
freedoms in the American hemisphere. Member states have to agree to submit to
their adjudicaton. The Commmission is based in Washington DC and the Court in –
ironically – Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. ~ IPS News,  Dec 17

Michael Cook
Costa Rica
human rights