.- The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Costa Rica, Archbishop Hugo Barrantes Urena, has called on the country's government to continue its ban on in vitro fertilization, despite pressure from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACH) to legalize the procedure.
In vitro fertilization has been illegal in Costa Rica since 2000, however, the IACH has criticized the legislation and is calling for its reversal.
The archbishop noted that although IVF is presented as a final opportunity for those suffering from infertility, women are often not told that a number of embryos are destroyed in order for the procedure to be successful.
Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court ruled to ban IVF in 2000, noting that human life must be protected from the moment of conception.
Archbishop Barrantes slammed the IACH for a report omitting any reference to the respect for human life from the moment of conception and for giving importance only to the right to privacy and to a woman's right over her own body.
The Costa Rican government, he said, must follow its constitution and refuse efforts to put the desires of couples above the life of the unborn. He added that while the suffering of couples unable to conceive is understandable, “a child is ‘always a gift’ and can never be a means for satisfying a need or a desire. Rather, her dignity as a person demands that she always be treated as an end.”