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Parliament passes Landmark Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2020 and Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, 2021

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Parliament on Wednesday passed Landmark Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2020 and Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill 2021

Both the bills were passed in order to regulate and curb unethical practices related to issues such as sex selection. 

Rajya Sabha passes the Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill (ART), 2021 

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A week after the Lok Sabha cleared the draft legislation, by voice voting the Rajya Sabha passed the ART Bill 2021.

Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, explained that the ART Bill was passed to protect women and children from exploitation. 

The minister on December 2, told the Lower House that, “Many such ART clinics have been running in the country without regulation. A need was felt for regulation of such clinics as there are implications on the health of those who undertake the procedure,” 

He further added, “If there is no regulation, the unethical practices will increase,”. 

The ART Bill presents the constitution of a national board to set minimum standards of physical infrastructure, laboratory and diagnostic equipment and expert manpower to be employed by clinics and banks. 

Now, to maintain a central database and assist the national board, the authorities will have to set up a national registry and registration authority. 

Also, for those practising sex selection, sale of human embryos or gametes, running agencies or rackets the bill also puts forward strict punishments. 

Upper house passes Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020, with amendments

The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2020, asks to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing a National Surrogacy Board at the central level. 

And also state surrogacy boards and appropriate authorities in states and Union territories, within 3 months after the Centre notifies about the law. 

The Bill has a lot stored in help for any woman willing to act as a surrogate, widows and divorcees will also be allowed to opt for surrogacy to have children. 

The Bill, also to safeguard the rights of a surrogate, proposes an increase in the insurance cover timeline for surrogate mothers to 36 months from 16 months provided in the earlier version. 

After the law comes into effect, in India, sale and purchase of human embryos and gametes and commercial surrogacy will be banned and made illegal. 

Mandaviya said that recommendations of the select committee have been incorporated in the bill and now will go back to the Lok Sabha for approval. 

India has become a centre of the global fertility industry, in the past few years, with reproductive medical tourism becoming a significant activity. 

Clinics in India offer nearly all ART services. Despite so much activity in India, there is no standardization of protocols and reporting is still very inadequate. 

Also Read BLACK BOX OF IAF HELICOPTER THAT CRASHED WITH CDS BIPIN RAWAT ON BOARD RECOVERED; FURTHER INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY

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