Normalcy returned to Lok Sabha when it debated the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2021. The new law is significant as India has already become the global fertility industry and medical tourism hub.
New Delhi: Lok Sabha was calm and quiet, transacting its business religiously, debating and discussing the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill 2021.
The House remained in order on Wednesday (December 1) and saw no disruption barring disruption and adjournments in the morning hours. The draft law seeks to set minimum standards as per global quality and codes of conduct for fertility clinics and egg/sperm banks. The ART Bill provides for the safe and "ethical practice" of assisted reproductive technology services.
The new law will be significant, say BJP members and government sources, as India has already become the global fertility industry and medical tourism hub. The measures will 'regulate' India's fertility treatment industry. The bill came over a decade since the Indian Council of Medical Research first drafted it in 2008.
During the debate, Congress member Karti Chidambaram made repeated references to the Mahabharata and the Puranas and said: "Our epics have so many instances of unconventional births." But, he said, "This law is not a Hindu law, it is actually a Victorian law." His grievance is – live-in couples, single men and the LGBTQ community have been exempted from the bill's ambit.
But BJP member Dr Hina V Gavit, a medico herself, defended the bill stating that assisted reproductive technology has remained unregularised for a long time in India. "Unfortunately, over a period of time, a lot of commercialisation has taken place," she pointed out.
"We see a lot of celebrities using surrogacy to have children and many celebrities who have already their biological children are also going for these surrogacy. This bill will definitely ensure that people who are in need, the couples who are infertile, can avail the benefits of ART," she said.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "If there is no regulation, the unethical practices will increase. Many such ART clinics have been running in the country without regulation."
However, due to protests from TRS members, Lok Sabha was adjourned twice in the morning hours. The TRS members from Telangana were raising demand for MSP for farmers.