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Costa Rica tries to legalise IVF

14 December 2015
Appeared in BioNews 832

Almost three years after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled that Costa Rica's ban on IVF was unlawful, the Costa Rican Government has attempted to legalise the fertility procedure – only for the measure to be suspended by the country's Supreme Court just two months after it was signed.

The IACHR ruled in 2012 that Costa Rica's ban on IVF, adopted 12 years previously in order to protect the right to life of embryos under its constitution, infringed the right to private and family life of those wanting to access IVF and ordered it to reinstate access to the fertility treatment (see BioNews 687). However, it wasn't until this September that President Luis Guillermo Solís signed a decree to legalise IVF, which is yet to come into force. 

The Tico Times reports that a group of lawmakers has asked the Supreme Court to throw out the decree, arguing that IVF can only be legalised through legislative action and not by presidential decree.

Another group, including the Center for Justice and International Law, the Doctors and Surgeons Association and the National Women's Institute, is petitioning the IACHR and has asked the Supreme Court to reject the challenge, the newspaper reports.

Pending a final decision on the matter, the Supreme Court ruled to temporarily suspend the reinstatement of IVF, and the Government has since delayed the introduction of a bill to regulate IVF, which would have supported the decree.

Costa Rica finally allows IVF after 15-year ban
Caribbean 360 |  15 September 2015
Costa Rica's Supreme Court to hear challenges to anti-IVF lawmakers
The Tico Times |  30 November 2015
President SolĂ­s legalizes IVF despite doubts from the Caja
The Tico Times |  11 September 2015
President yanks IVF bill in latest battle move over the fertility procedure
The Tico Times |  9 December 2015
7 January 2013 - by Antony Starza-Allen 
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) has overturned a prohibition on IVF in Costa Rica saying that it infringed provisions under the American Convention on Human Rights....
19 September 2011 - by Dr Morven Shearer and Dr Sheryl Vanderpoel 
Costa Rica is being taken to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) for failing to lift a national ban on IVF, which is sometimes the only medical intervention that can resolve a case of infertility or sub-fertility (1).The Costa Rican law making IVF illegal came into force in 2000. The country's Constitutional Court ruled IVF violated Article Four of the American Convention on Human Rights - 'the right to life' - by defining life from the moment of fertilisation (2). The IACHR orde...
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