Follow Us:

RS passes Health Ministry Bills amidst shouting and protests by Opposition members over suspension of 12 of their colleagues

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the two Bills, already passed by the Lok Sabha, were framed after a study by the Standing and Select Committees.

SNS | New Delhi |

Amidst Opposition protests, the Rajya Sabha today passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) (Regulation) Bill, 2021, and the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020 to prevent misuse of technology and unethical practices in surrogacy.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the two Bills, already passed by the Lok Sabha, were framed after a study by the Standing and Select Committees.

He said there was demand in the House that the two Bills should come together. Surrogacy was on in the country for several decades but there was no regulation. Foreigners came to India to avail themselves of surrogacy.

The Bill was needed to save the lives of women who offered to bear children for others.

There were reports of the misuse of IVF technology. The laws will allow widows and divorcees to have children and raise families. There will be the maintenance of records. The two laws have penal clauses too.

“We don’t want motherhood to become a commercial activity,” he said. There will be insurance cover for women volunteering for the ART and surrogacy processes. There were incidents in which women had died during the processes.

Members of the BJP, BJD, and AIADMK were among those who participated in the debate and welcomed the laws. They said the laws would benefit women. All through the debate, several Opposition members kept shouting slogans demanding revocation of suspension of 12 of their colleagues.

Independent member Ajit Kumar Bhuyan said he was with the Opposition but participated in the discussion because the Bills were important. He opposed the Bills and staged a walk-out.

The ART Bill seeks regulation and supervision of the ART clinics and ART banks, prevention of misuse, and safe and ethical practice of ART services for addressing the issues of reproductive health where ART is required for becoming a parent.

The ART is also used for freezing gametes, embryos, embryonic tissues for further use due to infertility, disease, or social or medical concerns. The law will regulate and supervise research and development also.

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020 seeks to constitute the National Surrogacy Board, State Surrogacy Boards and appointment of appropriate authorities for regulation of the practice and process of surrogacy.