The Congress today came down hard on the surrogacy bill saying it “resembled a draft from the stone ages and was brought out by “surrogate organisations” like the RSS and VHP.
Making a strong plea for reconsideration of the measure, party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters that the new bill seems to be “something resembling a draft from the stone ages” and not in keeping with contemporary India.
Insisting that a “most anti-liberal approach” is followed in drafting the legislation, he said that it is not at all in line with the “social milieu that we live in and is non-scientific”.
Lamenting that all kinds of value judgments have been injected into it in a “very paternalistic manner”, he faulted the bill for excluding surrogacy by live-in couples, those with adopted children, those with a single child, homosexuals, NRIs and foreigners.
“Why are they restricting surrogacy only to married couples? Surrogacy could be desired by widows, live-in partners and NRIs among others”, he said it was strange that the reason for excluding Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and foreigners is that divorces are very common in foreign countries.
Singhvi wondered “if all the categories are banned, then why have surrogacy at all”.
“They have delegated the drafting of this surrogacy bill perhaps to the surrogate RSS and VHP. This is a surrogate delegation to surrogate agencies,” he remarked.
Taking exception to the provision of 10 years punishment in the new bill, he said this showed that the government has “gone back to the stone ages”.
Singhvi claimed that the UPA had a far wider canvas in the 2010 Bill– the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Bill. He said in that bill, homosexuals were excluded. “Times have changed and that also requires a rethink”.
Noting that the government should not talk about surrogacy alone, he said Assisted Reproductive Technologies include In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and sperm donation should also be discussed. PTI SPG KUN ZMN KUN 08261850