Costa Rica is deeply Catholic, and has had a ban on In Vitro Fertilization since 2000.
Previously, Costa Rica had been an ideal destination for the medical tourist hoping to realize their dream of conceiving a child, but without incurring the often exhorbitant costs that the US resident needs to endure.
Then it all stopped.
Infertile Costa Rican couples have since been forced to travel abroad to follow their dream of having a child.
There is increasing pressure on the Costa Rican government to reinstate IVF as an option.
Legal action has been taken on behalf of 12 plaintifs, who feel that several of their their human rights have been violated by the ban, including the right to a family, the right to privacy, and women’s reproduction rights.
Decisions should be reached fairly soon, but in the meanwhile, IVF is being compared to homicide by the anti-IVF Catholic media, who have been actively campaigning via radio.
It is ironic that a country that in many ways has championed human rights, and that is so popular as a medical tourism destination, is also forcing many of its own residents to travel abroad for treatment to help them with that most basic of human rights – the right to reproduce.
Currency: Costa Rica Colon (CRC)
Language(s): Spanish(official), English
Population: 4,726,575 (source: World Bank)
Visa Requirements: Most nationalities do not require a visa. Entry is usually granted for 30 to 90 days.
Capital City: San Jose
Area: 51,100 km²
Dialling Code: 506
Government: Republic, Liberal Democracy
Major Airports: Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO), Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR)
Time Zone: UTC/GMT -6