The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) issued a condemnation of the government of Costa Rica for banning in-vitro fertilization, judging that the policy “violates human rights by limiting the rights to life, physical integrity, private life and families,” according to a statement issued by the high court.
The court came to this ruling after examining the Murillo Artavia case, as well as other, in which the Supreme Court of Costa Rica ruled in 2000. The high court of the Central American republic prohibited IVF. The Costa Rican jurists based their decision on Article 4.1 of the Convention on Human Rights of the Americas, which states that
“everyone has the right to respect for his life, and that no one may be arbitrarily deprived of his life”, which also determines that “the right to life shall be protected by law and, in general, from the moment of conception.” The main thrust of the Costa Rican court is that IVF “affects the right to life, to the extent that Article 4.1 provides absolute protection of the embryo and assisted reproduction technique generates a large loss of embryos.”
In its finding, the IACHR determined that
“in this case does not apply Article 4.1 to the extent that, for the reasons set forth therein, the ovum fertilized by leads to a different cell, that if it is not then implanted in the uterus, its chances of survival are nil that it can develop into a person.” The IAHCR also refuted the Costa Rican Supreme Court’s argument, stressing that “this analysis cannot lead to the conclusion that the embryo can or should be treated legally as a person, in that conception – according to scientific evidence – takes place from the time when the embryo implants in the uterus.” Along those lines, argued the IACHR, regarding “the evidence in the case file, it is concordant to point out that in natural fertilization as in IVF there occur a loss of embryos, so that there is an inherent risk in common even in those processes in which there is no intervention by this technique of assisted reproduction.”