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Human Rights
Reproductive Rights
Central America

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Beautiful Sin
A film by Gabriela Quirós
Costa Rica/US, 2014, 56 minutes, Color, DVD, English/Spanish, Subtitled
Order No. W161185
BEAUTIFUL SIN tells a surprising reproductive rights story, one that resonates from Central America to the United States and beyond.

What if you desperately wanted a baby, but your country and religion prohibited you from trying the one medical treatment that could help you? In 2000, anti-abortion activists, with the help of the Catholic Church and a U.S. group, won a legal case that banned in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Costa Rica and gave the embryo legal rights, making Costa Rica the only country in the world to outlaw the treatment. BEAUTIFUL SIN tells the decade-long story of three couples struggling with infertility who take the Costa Rican government before an international human rights court to demand the right to use IVF.

Filmmaker Gabriela Quirós charts the emotional journey of these couples as they contend with infertility and explores the legal ramifications of reproductive rights. It’s a universal story about what happens when state power and religious ideology clash with the desire to have a child.

Funding for this program was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


  • Broadcast on Public Television Stations and World Channel
  • Cine Las Americas
  • San Diego Latino Film Festival
  • Chicago Latino International Film Festival
  • Cine+Mas San Francisco Latino Film Festival

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    "A cautionary tale about what can happen when a religious ideology becomes law."

    “Beautiful Sin is a mesmerizing film over a decade in the making. Anyone who is concerned about the state’s control of women’s bodies will find the film chilling."
    Lori B. Andrews, Director
    Institute for Science, Law and Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology

    "The film is beautifully crafted. I use it in my Yale seminar course “Reproductive Technologies: Global Perspectives."
    Marcia C. Inhorn, Professor
    Anthropology and International Affairs, Yale University

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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