Updated 02:25 AM EDT, Mon, Oct 26, 2020

President Solís' IVF Decree Blocked by Costa Rican Supreme Court

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In vitro fertilization remains unlawful in Costa Rica after the state Supreme Court struck down President Luis Guillermo Solís' decree to legalize the fertility treatment in the country.

Years of expert consultations, court wrangling and legislative battles have been wasted after the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or the so-called "Sala IV" deemed Solís' presidential decree unconstitutional.

According to the Tico Times, the decree in question is the one the Costa Rican president signed, which ended a 15-year ban on in vitro fertilization (IVF) in September 2015.

The decree was Solís' response to a ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights stating that the IVF ban "violated the rights to private and family life, to personal integrity ... to sexual health, to enjoy the benefits of scientific and technological progress, and the principle of non-discrimination," per a report from Costa Rica News.

The decree was expected to provide thousands of Costa Ricans with a choice to undergo the fertilization method, even if there were people who were opposed to it and may have even doubted the soundness of the decision. This included the Costa Rican Social Security System who is in charge of managing the country's healthcare system.

Some of the plaintiffs who filed a formal complaint to the human rights court in Washington also have doubts on how the Solís administration handled the matter.

"I really applaud the decision to do something, but I'm really not confident that it's been worded in a way the Constitutional Chamber [of the Supreme Court] won't reject, as they have with everything else dealing with [IVF] since 2000," plaintiff Andrea Biachi told Tico Times in September 2015.

In 2012, the Sala IV ruled that "the Costa Rican state has an obligation to comply with the Inter-American Court's ruling."

However, the same Supreme Court deemed Solís' decree unconstitutional because it did not go through the members of the Legislative Assembly.

According to Tico Times, Solís' biggest challenge in providing his people the legal support to undergo IVF is the fact that legislators are backed by religious groups who strongly oppose artificial fertilization.

In an in-depth report, the Costa Rica News explained why this is the case.

The report explained that 'in vitro' literally means 'outside the body,' which means the procedure involves fertilizing a woman's egg cell with a sperm before placing it into the mother's womb.

However, this same fact is why religious groups are against it since they believe that life begins at the moment of conception which is the union of the egg and sperm cells.

200,000 babies have been born in the United States as a result of IVF since its introduction in 1981. 

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