15:55 GMT +318 August 2019
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    Twitterstorm Erupts over Proposed Indian Law Banning Commercial Surrogacy

    CC BY-SA 2.0 / Teza Harinaivo Ramiandrisoa / Pregnant woman
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): As the Indian government moves towards banning “commercial surrogacy” in the country, an online debate has erupted, with many backing the move and some opposing it.

    On Monday, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare introduced the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament, that provides for the regulation of surrogacy boards at the national and state levels. The Bill states that only close relatives will be permitted to act as surrogates for infertile couples. It also seeks to pass legislation that will prevent those using surrogate services from abandoning the resulting offspring under any circumstances.

    “Due to lack of legislation to regulate surrogacy, the practice of surrogacy has been misused by surrogacy clinics, which leads to rampant commercial surrogacy and unethical practices…,” the Bill has stipulated.

    The government’s plans have evoked a sharp response from some users who have questioned the foreseeable ban.

    Interestingly, many netizens backed the move, and even questioned how the process was allowed to become a “commercial method of exploiting women in the country”.

    One user suggested that instead of turning to surrogacy, couples should seek adoption, as India has a large number of parentless children living in institutions.

    Stating that India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries over the past few years, the Bill also seeks to ban foreign nationals and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) from using Indian women as surrogates.

    Singles, homosexuals and unmarried couples are already barred from applying for surrogacy in India.

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