Costa Rica

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Costa Rica
Costa rica flag.gif
Region Latin America
Population 4133884
GDP (millions USD) 26,238
National Policies
Eggs for assisted reproduction PROHIBITED
Eggs for research ?
Inheritable genetic modification PROHIBITED
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis ?
Reproductive cloning PROHIBITED
Research cloning PROHIBITED
Sex selection ?
Surrogacy no policy
International Agreements
2005 UN Cloning Vote YES
2005 UNESCO Sports Doping Convention not ratified


Key laws and policies

  • Regulation on Assisted Reproduction, Decree No. 24029-S (February 3, 1995)

Prohibited practices

Costa Rica prohibits:

  • Reproductive cloning
  • Research cloning
  • Inheritable genetic modification
  • IVF


  • Costa Rica maintains laws that prohibit IVF, based on the view that embryos have a right to life.
  • In November 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights considered such laws in light of their legality, legitimate aim, appropriateness, necessity, and proportionality. (See Murillo et al. v. Costa Rica; summary available here:

The ICHR held that:

    • The constitutionality of such laws could be upheld, (legal)
      • given the constitution emphasized that life was "inviolable," it was legitimate to take measures to protect it, (legitimate)
      • given the interest in the right to life, it was appropriate to impose controls over the practice of IVF (necessary).
    • However, an absolute ban on IVF violates the right to privacy, the right to family, and the right to personal integrity, and the restriction could be lessened "through some other form of regulation that could produce results that more closely resemble the natural process of conception such as a regulation that diminishes the number of fertilized ovules." (Current laws were not proportionate.)
  • The ICHR therefore granted Costa Rica until December 20, 2013 to enact a law regulating the subject.
  • In 2014, while there have been a number of bills presented in parliament, none have passed the parliamentary process, and no such laws have been enacted.
  • It is reported that 22 couples have brought claims against the government for their failure to enact such laws, and a new ombudsman has undertaken to speak on the matter. (See

If/when laws are enacted in Costa Rica, it is likely that such laws would permit IVF in very limited circumstances.

[edit] References