On 24th August, Union Cabinet approved the Surrogacy Bill. “The bill proposes a ban on commercial surrogacy, restricting “ethical” and “altruistic surrogacy” to legally-wedded infertile Indian couples, who have been married for at least five years.”
The origin of this bill was to protect surrogate mothers from exploitation, who were usually from economically backward backgrounds and would rent their wombs to provide for their family. In the process, many of them would undergo multiple pregnancies despite knowing the perils of it and put their lives at risk. Some would get commercially exploited and get paid at fraction of what the couple paid, some were even asked to bear the expense of their delivery.
So, while this new bill will protect such women from getting exploited, it will also restrict the option for infertile couples to have kids and economically backward families to have an income earning opportunity. To understand what doctors think about this bill, Curofy, community of doctors (India) conducted a poll to count the opinion of doctors about passing the bill would do more harm than good.
Curofy, community of doctors (India) has also conducted a poll asking doctors if in their opinion passing the bill would do more harm than good.
Of the 1480 doctors who polled their opinion, 720 or 48.6% said that passing this bill would do more harm.
Dr. Ritu Sethi, Senior Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon said, “I think it is bad idea to ban surrogacy for everyone. It will do more harm to the couples trying for a child. The government needs to understand that a couple resorts to surrogacy after all other options have failed, it is no one’s first choice. This bill is a little draconian. I think it should be relaxed. It is judgmental that it restricts surrogacy for homosexuals and single parents.”
On the other hand 760 or 51.3% doctors said that this bill do well by preventing exploitation of surrogate mothers.
Dr. Shakti Bhan, Senior Consultant & Coordinator, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi said, “I think the bill is good. Surrogacy has become more of a business and money making profession which endangers the life of women. This is not healthy. People from all over the world come to India to have a child by surrogacy since it costs a fraction of what it would elsewhere. This Bill will make sure that Surrogacy is used by those in need and not for business.”
So, while debate on Surrogacy is still going on in the country, decision from government is still awaited.
Commenting on this, Mudit Vijayvergiya, co-founder Curofy said, “It is good that government is making rules to stop commercialization of Surrogacy but at the same time it needs to be seen that it shouldn’t discriminate against any section of the population.”