The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Amendment) Bill 2021 by voice vote as the amendments moved by some parliamentarians including Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy and Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut were negated.
The ART Bill seeks to regulate fertility clinics. All such clinics will have to be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.
Replying to the debate on ART Bill, the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said this Bill was sent to the Standing Committee and the suggestions of the committee have been considered in this Bill.
He further said that there are many provisions in the Bill to correct the current scenario such as in case of the mother's death, there has been a provision for insurance.
"We respect doctors, but any unethical practice will be punished. Sex of the child cannot be revealed. In many Acts, the punishments are clearly mentioned for unethical practices by doctors," he added.
The Minister also said that every woman, above 21 years of age can now become a mother with this Bill. Even divorcees and widows can use the ART Bill.
Earlier, initiating the debate on the ART Bill, Congress MP Karti Chidambaram highlighted the existing lacuna in the Bill and also asked that if the donor was anonymous then why to take their Aadhaar number.
"Will there be a contact tracing if the child wishes to do so after turning adult? '' he asked and also questioned about the pricing regulation as this treatment cost a huge money.
Raising the issues of LGBT couples and single men from using this technology, Chidambaram also said that every Indian who is physically and financially fit to parent a child should be able to be a parent. He also raised his objection to the provision that only married women who had a child should be a donor.
Supporting the Bill, BJP MP Heena Gavit who herself is a medical professional, said that unregulated surrogacy made renting a womb a booming business and vulnerable women became victims.
She further said that the majority of the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) clinics or centres have not been registered with Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and there was a need to give insurance coverage to the surrogate mother.