RS members urge government to modify Surrogacy Bill

Jairam Ramesh said it was a very complicated bill and urged the government to make it more simple.

Many members in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday demanded the government to bring changes in certain provisions of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019, which mandates that only a close relative can be a surrogate mother.

Although the bill was supported by most members cutting across the party line, some members sought the modifications some of the provisions including the time frame for abortion, time limit of age and prior informed consent.

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019, which was passed by Lok Sabha in the Monsoon Session, was introduced in the Upper House on Tuesday by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

Participating in the debate, Jairam Ramesh (Congress) said it was a very complicated bill and urged the government to make it more simple. He also suggested that this legislation should have come after the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) bill as the government is "dealing with surrogacy but not dealing with the technology of surrogacy".

Demanding the government to remove the clause of close that only close relative can be surrogate mother, Ramesh said this would finally end the surrogacy.

P Wilson of the DMK said the bill has provisions for permission for abortion within 90 days, but sometimes there are cases of a medical emergency and the surrogate mother cannot wait for such period.

There should be provision of post-approval as well, he said.

Amee Yajnik from Congress said that there were about 3,000 clinics in the country dealing with surrogacy and the bill is silent as how these would be regulated.

Some of the members also sought provisions for allowances and insurance along with maternity leave for the surrogate mother, besides relaxation in numbers of surrogacy.

(EOM). 

 

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