Right to Rent Womb, A Right Denied

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She rents her womb, but all that she receives in return goes for the house rent. Is this the mere value of a poor woman in India?

Passed by the Parliament on August 24, 2016, the new Surrogacy Regulation Bill, 2016 aims to aid the poor women, and put a halt to their exploitation and poor working conditions. At the same time, the question arises if the bill lies merely on the paper or it shall be executed in reality as well?

Most of the developed nations like France, Germany, Sweden, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and Britain have banned commercial surrogacy i.e., the practice by which a woman becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby in order to give it to a couple that cannot carry a child, with a marketable motive. 

 
However, the Indian government seems to be kind enough. Although the new draft of the bill lays down a ban on the commercial surrogacy, it approves altruistic surrogacy where a woman can legally keep someone’s child provided that no favor, money or coercion is involved. This has ultimately attracted people from across the globe to India for undergoing surrogacy.

While Bollywood celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan opted for it, they never mentioned a token of thanks or respect for the surrogate. Such act has eventually fueled the trend of commercial surrogacy in the country.

The surrogacy services are regulated by the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National guidelines, 2005 and has witnessed a revenue of about $2.3 billion annually; making it some profitable business. In the same regard, the new regulation bill shall bring to light transparency and prosecute the parents who do not abide to the rules and regulations. But, will the economically and socially vulnerable surrogate, still be at stake? They rarely receive a copy of the contract that they had signed. They are prone to social stigma, and ultimately they are not even provided with the appropriate amount for selling the labour of their wombs.

The only thing they are acknowledged with, is physical and mental turmoil. And this is not the end of the story, this is just the beginning of the fact that, the Centre wants to put a halt at the exploitation of the poor women, in contrast to giving a chance to infertile couples have a baby. The question is, until when?

About The Author

Bhavya Gaind

Bhavya Gaind (SD College 32)

A stout believer of the doctrine of karma, and definitely an optimist. Bhavya suffers from a childhood syndrome, of laughing at serious situations and the same translates in her writings in the form of disastrous wit. Food, music and books are the definition of immense happiness.

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