Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

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Pro-life groups: Forcing in vitro on Costa Rica could result in a ‘right’ to abortion

Matthew Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

February 10, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A group of over 70 civil organizations in ten different countries have signed a protest against an attempt by the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to impose in vitro fertilization on Costa Rica.

The pro-life organizations warn that if the Commission is successful, the ruling may be used in the future to establish abortion in general as a “right” in Latin American countries.

The Commission, which exists to monitor the American Convention on Human Rights, claims that denying in vitro fertilization to couples is a “violation of the right to a private and family life, the right to found a family, and the right to equality and non-discrimination, consecrated in the American Convention on Human Rights.”

The Commission has filed a suit against Costa Rica with the Interamerican Court of Human Rights, which exists to enforce the American Convention on Human Rights, also known as the Pact of San Jose. The Pact is binding on most countries in Latin America, including Costa Rica.

Latin American pro-life organizations, however, note that neither the Pact of San Jose nor any other human rights convention makes any mention of in vitro fertilization, a process that results in the killing of numerous embryos that are never implanted in their mother’s womb.

A declaration by the pro-life groups, entitled “A ‘perfect storm’ against the right to life of the conceived in Latin America” denounces the “abortionist” attempt to create a right to the deadly procedure of in vitro fertilization.

“Under normal circumstances, this suit would not succeed,” the signatories state in Spanish. “Simply because there is no sentence nor human rights treaty that recognizes assisted reproduction as a human right. It isn’t even mentioned in the American Convention on Human Rights, better known as the Pact of San Jose.  That is to say, the Interamerican Court of Human Rights doesn’t have the competence, it is not its role under the law to demand that any government legalize these practices.”

The signatories write that the members of the Commission and the Court have an “ideological option to interpret human rights according to gender ideology and so-called ‘sexual and reproductive rights’” and note that the Commission was “advised by the ‘Center for Reproductive Rights,’ a New York organization with a global presence, dedicated to converting abortion into a human right.”

“With this case, the Commission has generated an opportunity for the Court to establish a binding juridical precedent (legally obligatory), for all Latin American countries that form part of the American Convention of Human Rights, regarding the beginning of life and the extent of its legal protection,” they state.

The signatories call upon the government of Costa Rica to act in the defense of its own laws, accusing officials of capitulating to the Commission and of blocking attempts by pro-lifers to combat the suit.

The government has already tried once to legalize in vitro fertilization, following previous complaints by the Commission. However, in June of last year the national legislature voted down such a measure, prompting the Commission to proceed with its suit in the Court.

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