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Associated Press: Court strikes down Costa Rica in-vitro ban

By Cesar Barrantes and Michael Weissenstein

"A Costa Rican ban on in-vitro fertilization has been struck down by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in a decision that reproductive health groups said could lead to greater access to abortion and some contraception in other Latin American countries.

The court said in a ruling late Thursday that a long-standing Costa Rican guarantee of protection for every human embryo violated the reproductive freedom of infertile couples because it prohibited them from using in-vitro fertilization.

The court said that governments cannot give embryos and fetuses absolute protection under the American Convention on Human Rights. The Costa Rican government said it will comply with the court's decision and move to allow in-vitro fertilization.

'This is a wonderful day for reproductive rights,' said Alejandra Cardenas, a lawyer for the U.S.-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed briefs in the case.

Cardenas said that a new case challenging, for example, a total ban on abortion would have to follow the standard that protections for fetuses are not absolute.

'They are always subjected to exceptions and must be proportional and incremental,' she said."

Read the complete AP article on the Huffington Post website >