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    Commission Approves Law on the Rights of the Unborn Child

    Today, the Special Commission on Youth, Childhood and Adolescence of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica approved file 21,239: “Law on the Rights of the Unborn Child.” The independent deputy Ivonne Acuña commented that once ruled, the project will now go to Plenary to receive the opportunities for improvement granted by the mechanism of substantive motions, via article 137. Acuña assured that this project raises, in essence, the recognition that each person is equal in dignity and rights, from his conception.

    The Law on the rights of the human being in gestation consists of a single article that is added to article 12 bis of the Code of Childhood and Adolescence, Law No. 7739 of January 6, 1998 and its reforms, which includes comprehensive protection of the life and health of the human being in gestation, from conception to birth, and of the integrity of pregnant women.

    The law stipulates, without disregarding the rights provided in current legislation, the unborn human being will have the following rights:

    a) To life.

    b) To the family.

    c) To Equality.

    d) To the recognition of its legal personality.

    e) Physical integrity and therefore all procedures or techniques that affect or stop their normal development and growth must be prohibited, unless the pregnant woman is at risk of death.

    f) In adequate conditions for their development and physical integrity and both him and his mother must be guaranteed prenatal health care, including intrauterine and postnatal medical therapies, appropriate and suitable, in order to protect the lives of both.

    g) Not to be genetically manipulated or altered, nor cloned, nor destined for any other purpose than that of its own, from conception to birth. For this purpose, the cases in which the human being in gestation must be treated medically to guarantee their adequate prenatal training process and their human dignity are excluded.

    h) Not to be discriminated against for reasons of race, color, sex, national, ethnic or social origin, physical handicaps, disability or illness, for not having been born, or for any other condition including the circumstances of their conception or the qualities or characteristics of their parents and relatives. Nor can they be discriminated against because of the language, religion, political or other opinion of their parents.

    i) Not to be selected to be born because of their genetic heritage, physical, biological or any other nature.

    j) That, in all decisions and measures, directly related to gestational processes, taken or involving public or private institutions, as well as legislative, judicial or administrative bodies, the best interests of the unborn child must be considered, and the integrity of his mother.

    k) To a special protection by the family, the State and the Society.

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    Decision making

    According to Acuña: “when faced with a pregnant woman, health professionals are clear that they are facing two patients, two people, the woman-mother and the unborn child. Recognizing and guaranteeing rights allows comprehensive, respectful and responsible care for the health and life of both patients”.

    A replacement text was approved for this initiative, so several deputies withdrew an important group of motions. The approved text includes, according to the deputy of the Citizen Action Party Paola Vega, her main objections to the original project. This allowed the initiative to be ruled affirmatively in the Commission.

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