State public health minister Dr Deepak Sawant on Friday said his government was keen on making stricter laws for surrogacy in the state, by limiting its use only for ailing women or those medically unfit to conceive children.
Sawant was replying to a discussion on women’s health issues in the legislative council, when he announced the state will recommend to the Centre that surrogacy laws be tightened.
“Surrogacy should be allowed in cases where there is no way out. It should be permitted when a woman is facing a serious medical problem, such as cancer, or in a case where she cannot bear a child,” said Sawant, adding that surrogacy was increasingly being relied on by women and couples who, after their first child, were not keen on going through a second pregnancy .
The state government has been pushing to regulate surrogacy in the state over the past few months.
In February this year, the government announced that a woman wanting to loan her uterus or donate her eggs would soon need the consent of relatives. The same month, the state public health department invited suggestions to strengthen regulations on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and In-Vitro Fertility (IVF), both used for surrogacy.
Currently, there is no law regulating ART and IVF centres or how many of them can be opened. They are regulated through the Mumbai Nursing Home Act and Clinical Establishment Act.
The proposed law will regulate nearly 525 IVF and ART centres, including 135 in Pune, 120 in Mumbai and 70 in Nagpur and two in the relatively backward Beed district, among other cities.
Sawant told HT a was committee set up, which will give its recommendations in a month.
“The report of the committee is awaited. Once we get the recommendations, a draft legislation will be prepared and sent to the Centre, as a surrogacy law is being made by the Central government,” he said.
The government is also intending to start water boat ambulance between Gateway of India and Alibaug. The move will help in providing emergency medical services to people residing in areas having connectivity problems, said Sawant.