INTER - AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
COMISION INTERAMERICANA DE DERECHOS HUMANOS
COMISSÃO INTERAMERICANA DE DIREITOS HUMANOS
COMMISSION INTERAMÉRICAINE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
ORGANIZACIÓN DE LOS ESTADOS AMERICANOS
WASHINGTON, D.C. 2 0 0 0 6 EEUU
July 29, 2011
Ref.:

Case No. 12.361
Gretel Artavia Murillo et al. (“In Vitro Fertilization”)
Costa Rica

Mr. Secretary:
I am pleased to address you on behalf of the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights in order to submit to the jurisdiction of the Honorable Inter-American
Court of Human Rights, Case No. 12.361, Gretel Artavia Murillo et al. v. Costa Rica
(hereinafter “the State”, “the Costa Rican State” or “Costa Rica”), which concerns
the violation of the rights to have one’s private and family life respected, the right
to found a family and the right to equality and non-discrimination, recognized in
articles 11, 17 and 24 of the American Convention on Human Rights, read in
conjunction with articles 1(1) and 2 thereof, to the detriment of Gretel Artavia
Murillo, Miguel Mejía Carballo, Andrea Bianchi Bruno, German Alberto Moreno
Valencia, Ana Cristina Castillo León, Enrique Acuña Cartín, Ileana Henchos Bolaños,
Miguel Antonio Yamuni Zeledón, Claudia María Carro Maklouf, Víctor Hugo Sanabria
León, Karen Espinoza Vindas, Héctor Jiménez Acuña, Maria del Socorro Calderón
P., Joaquina Arroyo Fonseca, Geovanni Antonio Vega, Carlos E. Vargas Solórzano,
Julieta González Ledezma and Oriester Rojas Carranza.
The violations were the result of an across-the-board ban on the practice of
the assisted reproductive technique of in vitro fertilization, a ban that has been in
effect in Costa Rica since 2000, following a ruling issued by the Constitutional
Chamber of the Costa Rican Supreme Court. As indicated in merits report 85/10,
the Commission found that this absolute ban constituted arbitrary interference in
the right to private and family life and the right to found a family. The Commission
also found that the ban violated the victims’ right to equality inasmuch as the State
had denied them access to a treatment that would have enabled them to overcome
the disadvantage they have with respect to the possibility of having biological
children. The ban also had a disproportionate impact on women.
The State ratified the American Convention on Human Rights on April 8,
1970 and accepted the Court’s contentious jurisdiction on July 2, 1980.
The Commission has designated Commissioner Rodrigo Escobar Gil and
IACHR Executive Secretary Santiago Canton as its delegates. Likewise, Elizabeth
Abi-Mershed, Deputy Executive Secretary, and Silvia Serrano Guzmán, Isabel
Madariaga, Fiorella Melzi and Rosa Celorio, attorneys with the Commission’s
Executive Secretariat have been designated to serve as legal advisors.

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