International court orders Costa Rica to allow in-vitro fertilization


The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered Costa Rica on Thursday to remove the legal restrictions that the Central American  country had imposed to prohibit in vitro fertilization.

A decade ago, a Costa Rican group of people filed a lawsuit against their government for issuing a ban on assisted fertilization. The ban began after the Sala Constitucional — Constitutional Court — officially prohibited the technique on Costa Rican soil. “It is a historic decision,” said Costa Rican Miguel Yamuni, a member of the group of families that over a decade ago sued the State of Costa Rica. “It is historic, because we were the only country in Latin that had the audacity to ban this medical technology,” he added.

“It is a landmark decision in the sense that the message to the Costa Rican government is that, in human rights, neither the Constitutional Court nor the Legislature (Congress) have the final say,” he added.

The sentence was made public by the Communication Minister of Costa Rica, Francisco Chacón, who announced that the Government of Costa Rica, presided by Laura Chinchilla, had received and would abide by the verdict of the Court. Instead of conducting a referendum or  public consultation, a group of Costa Rican people decided that an international court was best fitted to tell the country and its people what needed to be done regarding the decision to allow or not in vitro fertilization.

This is the kind of actions that help countries lose their sovereignty, but of course it is also something that the common people do not understand. The Costa Rican Communications Minister said that the judgment is final and that compliance is mandatory, further proving that Costa Rica has lost all vestiges of self-rule and sovereignty as it willfully accepts orders from an international court that has no power to order any country to do anything. It is the adherence of the government of Costa Rica to this organization and others such as the WTO, the UN and WHO that subjects the nation’s people to regulations created by foreigners in foreign lands.

The judgment issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights establishes that the State of Costa Rica must provide in vitro fertilization as part of its health insurance and social security programs. That is, the people of Costa Rica will have to pay taxes to finance a procedure to private citizens, as supposed to having each private individual seek and pay for this fertilization technique.

Costa Rica’s decision to ban in vitro fertilization came from its Constitutional Court which operated within the Supreme Court. The Court issued a ban on in vitro fertilization back in 2000 alleging that the procedure violated the basic rights of the unborn.

Some of the arguments used by those who oppose in vitro include the ideas that the in vitro process threatens human life and the rights of the unborn, because countless fertilized embryos are lost during the process.

The lawsuit called “Artavia Murillo and others v. Costa Rica” was filed by Costa Rican families as a last attempt to end what they call the dogma sustained by Catholic religious groups. Those groups, the pro in vitro families say, are influential opinion makers in the media and some political factions.

The conflict between those who favor in vitro fertilization and those who oppose it, grew a couple of years ago after the Commission on Human Rights, asked Costa Rican to reconsider its ban. The country refused to do so, which caused the Commission to send the case to the  Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which operated under the Organization of American States.

Costa Rica is known internationally for lacking an official army since 1948, its opposition to the death penalty since 1871 and its membership at the International Human Rights Court, which has an office in the capital city of San Jose since 1979. Besides submitting to the decisions of illegitimate international courts, Costa Rica is now throwing its support after a bill to legalize same-sex unions, which will certainly be another opportunity for another sector of the country to request help from international organizations that will make decisions for them.

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