Only pro-life judge on Inter-American Court of Human Rights dies

Eduardo Vio Grossi Chilean judge Eduardo Vio Grossi, the only pro-life judge serving at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), died Dec. 3, 2022, at the age of 78. | Credit: Flickr de la OEA (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Chilean judge Eduardo Vio Grossi, the only pro-life judge serving at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), died Dec. 3 at the age of 78.

In a Dec. 3 statement posted on Twitter, the IACHR expressed its “deep sorrow for the unfortunate death” and conveyed its “most heartfelt condolences to family and friends for such a painful and irreparable loss.”

The IACHR is an international court based in Costa Rica that was created by the American Convention on Human Rights, a treaty ratified by the Organization of American States.

Doctors for Life of Costa Rica expressed its condolences on Twitter and recalled that Vio Grossi “accurately and masterfully defended human life from its conception.”

“A regrettable loss for the world and for the defense of the human being,” the pro-life organization said.

Bioethics expert Nicolás Lafferriere urged people to pray for this judge “who testified to the truth in the midst of growing relativism.”

“May God receive him in glory,” Lafferriere tweeted.

Vio Grossi’s wake was held Dec. 3 at the church of Sacred Hearts School in metro Santiago and the funeral Mass was offered there the next day.

Vio Grossi served as a judge at the Inter-American Court since 2010 and was the court’s vice president from 2018 to 2019.

In 2021, when the Inter-American Court ruled against El Salvador in the “Manuela” case, Vio Grossi stressed that “there is no inter-American or international legal standard (...) that recognizes abortion as a right.”

“Manuela” (not her real name) was a woman who claimed to have had a miscarriage but was convicted on forensic evidence of aggravated homicide in the death of her newborn. The case was manipulated by abortion rights groups in an effort to legalize abortion in El Salvador.

In 2012, in the ruling that upheld in vitro fertilization in Costa Rica, the judge brilliantly explained his dissenting vote respecting the created order in the conception of new life.

On that occasion, he recalled that the American Convention on Human Rights defends life from conception, which must be understood “beyond any other consideration as the fertilization of the ovum by the sperm.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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