8. On May 4, 2001 the Commission received the response of the State. That response claimed that the petition was out of order, considering that the judgment of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of Costa Rica was fully consistent with the American Convention. On June 1 of that year, the Commission sent a copy of the government’s response to the petitioner for comment. 9. On June 12, 2001 the Commission received the petitioner's comments to the response of the Costa Rican government. On that same day those observations were sent to the State. 10. On July 18, 2001 the government submitted new observations on the case, arguing that the petition should not be admitted because there were no identified individual victims, and because those victims who were identified, i.e. the Costa Rican companies Ultrasonografia S.A. and Instituto Costarricense de Fertilidad, had no legitimate standing in the case. That information was transmitted to the petitioner on July 23, 2001. 11. On October 2, 2002, the Commission acknowledged receipt of the communication dated September 25, 2002, submitted by the petitioner, in which he requested that consideration of admissibility and of merits be combined, in accordance with Article 37(3) of the Commission's Rules of Procedure, and declared that he was renouncing the friendly settlement procedure. The pertinent portions of the State's response dated July 18, 2001, were again sent to the petitioner, having been sent for the first time by the Commission on July 23, 2001, giving him a period of 15 days to respond. 12. On that same date the pertinent portions of the petitioner’s note of September 25, 2002, were sent to the State, giving it a period of 30 days to respond. On January 29, 2003, the Commission acknowledged receipt of the observations of October 30, 2002, submitted by the State, which were transmitted to the petitioner on that same day, and to which he responded on December 24, 2002, and on January 23, 2003. 13. In those communications the presumed victims were identified and they granted powers to the petitioner to represent them before the Commission. They reiterated the statement of the petitioner that they had not identified themselves for fear of disruption of their privacy. They also reiterated their request that consideration of admissibility and merits be combined, pursuant to Article 37(3) of the Convention. Those observations were transmitted to the State on March 11, 2003, which responded on May 27, 2003, opposing the combination of procedures and insisting on inadmissibility. 14. On October 10, 2003 a communication was received from the petitioner in which he sought to expand the petition to include Articles 1, 2, 5, 8, 11(2), 24, 25 and 26 of the American Convention, as well as Articles 3, 10 and 15 of the Protocol of San Salvador. This communication was received on October 10, 2003, and its pertinent portions were transmitted to the State on November 25, 2003, giving it a period of 60 days to respond. 15. On January 23, 2004, the response of the government to the expanded petition was received. In that communication, the State requested that the petition be declared inadmissible for the reasons mentioned earlier, i.e. the lack of standing of the parties and the failure to characterize violations, and it also argued that the petition was untimely and that domestic remedies had not been exhausted with respect to the victims who were subsequently identified. III. POSITION OF THE PARTIES A. The petitioner 16. The petitioner relates that on February 3, 1995, Presidential Decree 24029-S was issued, authorizing the practice of in vitro fertilization in Costa Rica and regulating that practice. He explains that the model established in that decree differed from the model used in other countries, because it applied only to married couples; it prohibited the insemination of more than 6 ovules, and it provided that all embryos must be deposited in the maternal uterus, prohibiting the freezing, preservation or discarding of embryos. 2

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