Ex-NCW member Shafiq tells Centre to keep interest of surrogate mothers in mind

New Delhi, Aug.25 :Former National Commission for Women (NCW) member and woman activist Shamina Shafiq on Thursday welcomed the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, and hoped that the proposed bill would keep the interest of surrogate mothers in mind before being passed as law.

"I think, in totality, one has to look as to what the Bill exactly talks about. If it is keeping the interest of the surrogate mothers ino mind, then I think it's a welcome move," Shafiq told ANI.

Shafiq, however, raised apprehension on one of the provisions of the bill which prevents homosexuals from accessing altruistic surrogacy, stating that the government cannot impose its choices on others.

"But, if there is a question on individuals identity and the way one is leading one's life, for example homosexuals, they also deserve to live a normal life, one can't question their choices," she said.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016.

Under the provision of the Bill, single parents, homosexual couples and live-in relationship couples are not allowed to access altruistic surrogacy.

The Bill aims at prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical surrogacy to needy infertile couples.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said that the bill was introduced as India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples, but cautioned that the government is aware of unethical surrogacy practices.

Criticising the practice of commercial surrogacy, Swaraj said, "What started as a need has now turned into a hobby." The Bill will be introduced during the winter session of Parliament.

Source: ANI