The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), based in San José, in a ruling Thursday has ordered the legalization of In Vitro Fertilization in Costa Rica.

The court found that the prohibition in force in Costa Rica since 2000 (by order of the Constitutional Court) violated the fundamental right of every human being to have children, either natural or assisted.

The decision follows a request made by nine couples after the Constitutional Court decision.

The Episcopal Conference, through its journalist Laura Avila, announced it will refer to the matter after studying the judgment.

In 2010, the IACHR held that the prohibition of IVF violated the fundamental rights of its citizens. In the face of the Costa Rican government’s inaction, the case was taken to Court.

This is the second sentence (two requests) that receives our country in the Court. In 2004, the international court forced Costa Rica to create appellate courts in a free speech case filed by journalist Mauricio Herrera Ulloa.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution. Together with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, it makes up the human rights protection system of the Organization of American States (OAS), which serves to uphold and promote basic rights and freedoms in the Americas.

The adjudicatory function requires the Court to rule on cases brought before it in which a state party to the Convention, and thus has accepted its jurisdiction, is accused of a human rights violation.

As stipulated by Chapter VIII of the Convention, the Court consists of seven judges of the highest moral authority from the Organization’s member states. These judges are elected to six-year terms by the OAS General Assembly; each judge may be reelected for an additional six-year term.

Current judges include: Diego García Sayán (Peru)  – President     of the court; Leonardo A. Franco (Argentina), Manuel E. Ventura Robles (Costa Rica), Margarette May Macaulay (Jamaica), Rhadys Abreu-Blondet (Dominican Republic), Alberto Pérez Pérez (Uruguay), and  Eduardo Vio Grossi (Chile).

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