Ending commercial surrogacy in India: significance of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016
The introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 into Parliament, in August 2016, was a much-awaited response to citizen voices and human rights groups calling for action in the unregulated area of commercial surrogacy arrangements. Both houses of Parliament have reviewed the Bill, and its fate was to be decided in the Winter Session of Parliament, 2017. It is still unclear whether the Bill will come up for decision in the Budget Session that will reconvene on March 5, 2018. The market for infertility treatments has attracted to India global clients seeking access to surrogates and procedures at lower costs. The Bill seeks to protect the rights of women and children at risk of exploitation and commodification as third parties in infertility treatments that use assisted reproductive technologies. Can commercial surrogacy be allowed in a country where injustice, inequalities, and poorly implemented laws place vulnerable women and children at risk? The proposed Bill could shut the door on commercial surrogacy arrangements in India and bring regulation into this sector of medical services.
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