Ana Victoria Sánchez Villalobos and others v. Costa Rica / Amici (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights/Costa Rica)


Primary Content

Filing date: Case admitted to IACHR in March 2004

Country/Region: ,

Patients of Dr. Gerardo Escalante López and Dr. Delia Ribas who were fertilized with in-vitro fertilization techniques

Center Attorney(s):
, Luisa Cabal and Lilian Sepúlveda

Gerardo Trejos Salas

Summary: In December 2004, the Center submitted an amicus brief before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in a case challenging the Costa Rica Supreme Court’s 2000 ruling that banned the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF). In its 2000 decision, the Court held that human life begins at conception and, therefore, that embryos and fetuses are entitled to the same legal protections as born individuals. The Center’s brief argues that the Court’s decision violates the right to health, to form a family, to privacy, and to benefit from scientific progress, recognized under international law. This year, a ruling is expected from the Commission that could have implications worldwide, impacting not only IVF and the right to bear children, but also the legal status of contraception and abortion.