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Cabinet approved 2020 Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill 2020 on 19 February 2020. The move comes after the introduction of the Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2020  in Parliament and the approval of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill 2020.  Aim: The bill was aimed at the welfare of women in the Country. These legislative measures are a step to protect women’s reproductive rights.  Provisions of the Bill: After the Bill is approved by Parliament, a National Board will be constituted.  The board will create a code of conduct that should be observed by people who work at clinics. It will also set the minimum standards of physical infrastructure, laboratory and diagnostic equipment. The States and Union Territories (UT) will also constitute State Boards and State Authorities. The State boards will follow the plans and policies that are introduced by the National Board for clinics and Banks in the State.  As per the Bill, the National Registry and Registration Authority will maintain a Central database and assist the National Board in its functioning. Severe punishment will be given to people who practise sex selection, sale of human embryos, running agencies or organizations for such unlawful practices. The Bill will also regulate the Assisted Reproductive Technology services in the country.  This will ensure infertile couples’ ethical practices in Assisted reproductive technology (ART).     Background: India has one of the highest growths in the ART centers and the number of ART cycles performed every year. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), including In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), is a way for a multitude of persons suffering from infertility. It has caused legal, ethical and social issues in the country. Standardization of protocols and reporting is very inadequate. To regulation of the ART services are needed mainly to protect the affected Women and the Children from exploitation.

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