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Evangelicals and Citizen Action Party discuss deal that could give major push to legalization of in vitro fertilization

April 24, 2014

Long on opposite sides of the debate to legalize in vitro fertilization, the center-left Citizen Action Party (PAC) and the conservative evangelical National Restoration Party may be able to strike a compromise to allow access to the fertility treatment in this Catholic country. Costa Rica remains one of only a few countries in the world to prohibit in vitro fertilization.

The comments came after a meeting Tuesday between President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís of PAC and members of the National Restoration Party (RN) Tuesday, reported CRHoy.com.

Lawmaker and president of RN, Carlos Avendaño, asked for more dialogue and said that the current bill was unacceptable. Avendaño also expressed his concern over Solís’ choice of Vice President Ana Helena Chacón, who will oversee social issues for the president-elect and has previously supported same-sex unions, IVF and some forms of abortion, according to the daily La Nación.

Mired in political and religious debates over whether or not IVF constituted a form of abortion because of the fertilized eggs not implanted in a women’s uterus, the court-ordered legislation regulating the treatment has stalled for years.

According to CRHoy.com, Emilia Molina, the chief of PAC’s legislative faction, said the party would push an IVF bill if incoming PAC lawmaker Henry Mora wins the presidency of the Legislative Assembly in the coming weeks, a position that would allow PAC to set the legislative agenda for the coming year.

PAC holds 13 of the 57 seats in the 2014-2018 Assembly and will need support from other political parties to wrest control from the National Liberation Party, which won 18 seats in the Feb. 2 election.

Costa Rica is the only country in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw IVF, despite the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ 2012 ruling that the ban violated the plaintiffs’ human rights and ordering that the Legislative Assembly pass a bill regulating the procedure.

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