Women’s groups demand national policy on surrogacy

Aarti Dhar

NEW DELHI: Concerned over the indiscriminate proliferation of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and surrogacy-related services in the country, women’s groups have demanded a national policy on ART with surrogacy as an important aspect of the policy.

In a joint statement issued here on Tuesday, several women’s groups said the policy should reflect the stand of the government with respect to the human, social, ethical, medical, health issues at the core of the subject.

The delay in formulation of such a policy has already led to negative impact since ARTs are flourishing in a rapid and ever increasing way.

“Medical tourism”

“A very dangerous turn that the growth of ARTs in India has taken, is that in recent times they have become one of the major reasons for medical tourism in India today. It is time to call to question the fact that we are in effect inviting people from all over the world, to utilise the “services” [including hiring the uterus of Indian women] in a cheap, and easy manner that their own countries would not allow,” the statement said.

“The practice of wombs being rented out for a price has become a thriving and lucrative business, not in the least because neo-liberal policies and globalisation have transformed everything, including motherhood and various body parts,” into marketable commodities, it said.

The signatories to the joint statement include Guild of Service, All India Democratic Women’s Association, National Federation for Indian Women, Lawyer’s Collective, Joint Women’s Programme, Young Women’s Christian Association, Initiative for Health, Equity and Society, Diverse Women for Diversity and Centre for Women’s Development Studies.

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