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New Court Ruling Challenges IVF Ban in Costa Rica

Posted on 6 March 2016

By Rimah Jaber

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a standard procedure in several countries around the world. However, since 2000, IVF has been banned in Costa Rica despite an order to lift it by an international court. The country’s legislature and courts continue to delay the process after four years.

Although the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled that countries lacking access to IVF violate people’s “right to private and family life” in 2012, Costa Rica remains committed to its constitution claiming that life begins at conception. Thus, IVF was banned by the constitutional court on account that it involves “wastage of embryos.”

Last year, President Luis Guillermo Solís legalized IVF through presidential decree, but the constitutional court annulled it declaring the procedure should only be regulated by law. This week, the IACHR ruled that presidential decree is adequate making the president’s legalization legitimate.

Several couples sued Costa Rica for banning IVF and are currently pressuring President Solís saying they can “no longer wait” as their fertility is diminishing over time.

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