The Lok Sabha is all set to table the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020, during the ongoing Winter Session of the Parliament that began on November 29.
The Government had earlier approved the bill, with the goal to regulate fertility treatments, allow ethical and safe use of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), and protect children and women from exploitation, in February 2020.
What Does The Bill Provide For?
Assisted Reproductive Technology refers to a range of medical interventions that help in reproduction, including procedures such as in-vitro fertilisation and oocyte donation.
The bill seeks to set minimum standards and codes of conduct for fertility clinics and egg/sperm banks. It provides for the "safe and ethical practice of assisted reproductive technology services", including egg or sperm donation, in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), and gestational surrogacy. The bill also aims to introduce protections for egg donors, gestational surrogates, and children conceived through ART services, reported The Print.
A National Board will be constituted to set up the code of conduct to be closely followed by all of those working at clinics, set the standards of physical infrastructure, diagnostic equipment, laboratory, and manpower to be employed by banks and clinics.
Meanwhile, all states and Union Territories (UT) are also set to constitute state authorities and boards within three months of the notification by the central government.
Furthermore, the bill also supplies for the setting up of a Registration Authority and National Registry to run a central database and assist the National Board in its functioning. Also, the ART clinic and the bank need to be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.
Those found guilty will be punishable with a fine of ₹ 5-10 lakh for the first violation.
Any clinic or bank advertising or offering sex-selective ART will be punishable with 5-10 years' imprisonment, or a ₹ 10-25 lakh fine, or both, as per the rules.