I am creating this thread to discuss important laws passed in the parliament during this session.
Your comments are welcome, on what you think about the law passed or discussed. But be specific. You could quote PRS summary (and provide link to the same), then raise your arguments point wise, in favour or against.
Please be balanced in your approach. Maintain the decorum. No parliamentary privileges, as no one is elected representative here.
The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020
I would like to support this Bill. India has a booming industry for ART services. Even couples from foreign countries come to India for ART services, mainly because of prohibition in their countries and low cost of services in India. But there is one more reason: lack of regulation. Because of lack of regulation, there were exploitation of poor for surrogacy, abandonment of children and commercialisation of the services.
Therefore, this Bill was necessary in order to:
- regularise ART clinics and banks
- regulate age and other criteria
- specify number of embryos
- ensure penal provisions for violation etc
Having said that, I would also like to point out some shortcomings in the Bill proposed:
- Under the conditions for gamete donation and supply, some sections of the society are excluded such as LGBTQ, single male, live-in couples. The argument that single men are not allowed to adopt a girl child under Adoption Rules, 2017 does not cover the live-in couples or LGBTQ community. It violates Article 14 and 21 of the constitution, and goes against the Puttaswamy judgement of SC which held that Liberty of Procreation is a Fundamental Right to privacy. The government cannot deny them on the basis of the lifestyle they chose. The purpose of the Bill was to regulate this sector, not banning or denying someone their right to access the ART services.
- This Bill also proposed that only married women with at least one child of minimum 3 years age can donate oocytes. I don’t understand the logic behind this provision.
- Under the provision of Conditions for offering ART services, it is provided that the Embryo should be checked for genetic diseases before implantation. What constitutes genetic diseases? Government should clarify and define the genetic diseases to check, otherwise there is a chance of misuse of the provision.
- The same National and State Boards are to function which are constituted under the Surrogacy Bill. The surrogacy Bill has not yet been passed. And there are other conflicting provisions too. Government should resolve this issue.
- The provision that only board can go to court, and not individual, violates the Fundamental right to go to court.
- The ART services are very expensive. Poor people can’t afford it. Government should do something to ensure the access of ART services to all.
Therefore, I would like government to take a heed to the points mentioned above. I rest my case here. Counter arguments are also welcome. Thank you.