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25 JUNE, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1.  Is commercial surrogacy an unethical practice? Do you find the proposed ban against commercial surrogacy by the government against the reproductive rights of a surrogate mother? (200 words)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Umesh Sachin

    Surrogacy process whereby a women carries a pregnancy for another couple. In commercial surrogacy the gestation mother receives financial reward for pregnancy.
    From being a practice with a pious purpose i.e. blessing an infertile couple with a child, it has went on to become a commercial racquet. Commercial Surrogacy is largely viewed today as ‘Commodification of womb.’
    The reasons to call it unethical are following:
    1. It disrespects mother-child bond.
    2. Surrogates lack decision making power with regard to their own body and life.
    3. No post-pregnancy medical support.
    4. Easy option for career women who do not want to carry pregnancy.
    Is the proposed ban against reproductive rights
    It is argued that a woman has right over her own body and cannot be punished by state for exercising her right of procreation. It violates the ‘fundamental right’ to reproductive autonomy under Article 21.
    Moreover, method of procreation and parenthood lies outside the domain of state.
    However, it cannot be agreed less that in the absence of law to regulate this practice it has become exploitative. Thus, the need of the hour is to balance regulation and rights.

  • Osho Korde

    Surrogacy refers to a contract in which a woman carries a pregnancy “for” another couple.
    How it is unethical:
    • Attachment with the Gestational Mother – In a surrogate situation, the gestational mother is the woman who carries the baby to term. This can be a very taxing process both physically and emotionally – and unique in that after the surrogate mother physically carries the baby throughout the pregnancy, she needs to physically and emotionally detach herself from the child once it is born.
    • Identity of the Child – There are also ethical considerations that are brought to mind in terms of informing the child of his or her surrogate mother, as doing so may have an effect on the child’s self-identity.

    Criticism for parliaments decision on surrogacy:
    • The cabinet’s decision does not appear to be in consonance with constitutional provisions. Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees “equality before the law and equal protection of laws to all persons”.

    • Article 21 guarantees “protection of life and personal liberty of all persons”. Restricting conditional surrogacy to married Indian couples and disqualifying others on the basis of nationality, marital status, sexual orientation or age, does not appear to qualify the test of equality and has no connection with the intended objectives of the proposed legislation.

    • Further, the right to life includes the right to reproductive autonomy — that includes the right to procreation and parenthood.

    • It is not for the state to decide the modes of parenthood.

    Constitutionally, the state cannot interfere in the prerogative of a person(s) to have children, naturally or through surrogacy. Infertility cannot be a condition to undertake surrogacy. The proposed law ought to be put in the public domain before the country’s parliamentarians debate it.