The abortion license, ironically, helped lead directly to a view that there is a fundamental right to have children. And to be sure, people should not be forced to be sterilized, or to take birth control, or have abortions. Hello People’s Republic of China!
But those are “negative” rights, that is, a right possessed by the individual that the state cannot violate. But many take the right to procreate into the land of entitlement, e.g., a “positive right” to have children by any means they choose—and if that is true, it means human cloning, three related biological parents, etc. And now, Costa Rica is in the dock of Inter-American Court of Human Rights because it outlaws IVF. From the Scientific American story:
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is set to decide whether Costa Rica, the only country that completely prohibits in vitro fertilization (IVF), has infringed basic rights with its ban. The tribunal which is based in the Costa Rican capital of San José but rules on human-rights violations throughout Central and South America met last week to hear a case brought by affected couples against Costa Rica.
The decision, expected in the next few months, may oblige Costa Rica to lift the ban and regulate IVF. But scientists are concerned that if the prohibition is upheld, it will set a bad precedent for laws related to health, including one that would lift a ban on experiments involving humans, such as drug trials, that was first brought before the country’s parliament in 2011.
My take: There should be no “right” entitlement to IVF. Nor should a country be prevented from prohibiting human experimentation. I don’t approve of such a law, but creating a fundamental entitlement “right” to engage in human experimentation would be a huge mistake.