What's the Latest Development?
The Inter-America Court of Human Rights will soon decide whether Costa Rica's ban on in vitro fertilization, a process by which a female egg is fertilized in laboratory settings, infringes on a fundamental human right. "In January 2001, nine infertile couples presented a petition against the ban to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Ten years later, the commission issued a dossier stating that Costa Rica has infringed the rights to privacy, family life and non-discrimination, articles 11,17, and 24 of the American Convention on Human Rights." That dossier is what prompted the current trial.
What's the Big Idea?
Costa Rica originally banned the procedure because Article 21 of its Constitution expresses a right to life. But experts testifying against the state argue that an embryo does not yet constitute human life because not all fertilized eggs results in a newborn. "Gabriel Macaya Trejos, director of the Costa Rican National Academy of Sciences in San Pedro, says that most scientists are in favor of IVF, 'but those opposing are more vocal, and mask religious convictions with pseudo-scientific arguments'." A ruling from the court is expected in the next few months.
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