Lok Sabha passes Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill 2020
The Lok Sabha passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation Bill), 2020, after a detailed discussion. It was moved by Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya in the post-lunch session.
Mr Karthi P.Chidambaram of the Congress, who kick-started the discussion charged that it excludes some sections of the society like the LGBTQ and the single persons from availing the benefits of the assisted reproduction technology. He said the new bill is a part of the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2019, which is yet to be passed by the Upper House.
Dr. Heena V Gavit of the BJP highlighted the merits of the Bill saying it seeks to regulate the assisted reproduction sector. She said sex selection at all the phases of assisted reproduction is strictly banned under the Bill, adding, an ART Registry is being envisaged providing a legal framework for the whole sector. She also said the rights and duties of a child borne out of ART will be the same as that of a child who is born to a parent conventionally.
The DMK opposed the bill saying the regulatory boards being envisaged under the bill do not mandate competent medical experts to be the members, besides making the state governments-instituted regulatory boards powerless as compared to the national board. headtopics.com
Dr Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar of the AITC opposed the Bill saying if the regulatory boards as mandated in the bill are not having properly trained ART experts as members, both the couple seeking the help of assisted reproduction and the medical practitioners dealing with it will be rendered vulnerable to punitive action, as the process involved in the technology is highly complex.
Dr Venkata Satyavati of the YSR Congress Party supported the bill saying it is aimed at safeguarding the interests of the parents who seek ART and the children.Dr Alok Kumar Suman of the JD (U) supported the bill while suggesting regulating the cost of availing the services using the ART.
Sangeeta Azad of the BSP hailed the Bill as a ray of hope for the couples seeking ART but asked to make it legal for single parents also to avail it.Supriya Sule of the NCP while welcoming the Bill asked to integrate both the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2019, and the present Bill. She also asked the Centre to impart skills for medical practitioners from all states in ART, besides asking to dilute the provisions of the stringent punitive measures against doctors.
Anubhav Mohanty of the BJD said the Bill allows only a close relative of a person to be the surrogate mother though it does not define who is a close relative. He said commercial surrogacy need not be viewed as illegal.Rita Bahuguna Joshi of the BJP said assisted reproduction has become a thriving business and regulation is required, adding, the Bill is aimed at regulating it. She said it took 13 long years since initiating the process of bringing such a Bill and urged the House to pass the legislation at the earliest. headtopics.com
Meanwhile, NK Premachandran of the RSP brought a point of order saying the Bill is a part of the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2019 and asked how the new bill can be taken up by the Lower House when the main bill is pending in the Rajya Sabha.Health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya replied that the new bill has been moved in the Lok Sabha on the recommendation of the Upper House panel as both the bills were sought to be taken up together for consideration there, as both are interdependent. Therefore, he said passing the new bill is essential for the Rajya Sabha to consider them for passing.
The main opposition Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury termed the Bill as premature, saying the main bill on surrogacy is still pending in the Upper House.In his reply, Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandavia said, for the last 40 years, assisted reproductive technology has been evolving without any safety or regulatory measures. He said 22 of the suggestions made by the Standing Committee have been incorporated in the Bill. He said unethical practices in ART will be curbed following the enactment of the Bill.
It may be noted that the Lok Sabha has passed the Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2019 in August 2019, which has been referred by the Rajya Sabha to a select committee in February last year.Meanwhile, the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill has been introduced by Health minister Dr. Mansukh Mandavia in the Lok Sabha yesterday, which has been moved for consideration and passing today. The debate on the Bill is currently going on in the House.
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