The Culture Around Sterilization and Therapeutic Abortion in Costa Rica

  • María Carranza MaxeraEmail author
Part of the Science Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Science book series (SACH, volume 8)


In the present transcribed, edited and annotated talk, doctor and anthropologist María Carranza Maxera discusses the ideas about sterilization and therapeutic abortion among urban people from San José, a people for whom it would seem, at first sight, that the adjective “traditional” would not apply, as they have no perceived regional markers. The talk demonstrates that there is indeed an unexplained idiosyncrasy in this urban population, and what could seem at first sight to be a mere passive adherence to the religious mandate turns out, on closer inspection, to be a far more nuanced thinking which allows for a culture of sterilization.


  1. Carranza, M. (2007). The therapeutic exception: Abortion, sterilization and medical necessity in Costa Rica. Developing World Bioethics, 7(2), 55–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Costarricense de Investigación y Enseñanza en Nutrición y SaludCartagoCosta Rica

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