ASIA/INDIA - Priests and sisters tell government: No surrogate maternity for India

Monday, 3 April 2017 healthcare   human rights   childhood   reproductive health   maternity   birth  

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) – A new Bill intended to regulate the practice of “surrogacy” in India is “a direct attack on the sacred values of marriage, the family, the dignity of women, as well as the natural rights of the child”. This was affirmed by the Forum of lawyer priests and nuns in Delhi in a message addressed to the government , and sent also to Fides, demanding a total ban on surrogacy, “ a sort of renting women and purchasing babies”.
The Bill, according to the Forum of pastoral workers with legal studies and competence in the field, appears to have been written without facing the basic problem, and “could cause more harm than good, increasing the exploitation of women”.
The message, sent also to Fides continues: “The womb of the woman and the gift of her capacity to bear children, as well as the rights of every child, are treated as goods and put on the market. The carrying and nourishing of a child for nine months in the mother’s womb, is considered no different from raising a calf to be judged by quality and quantity. Femininity becomes insignificant and the mother is no more than a carrier of goods. The psychological and moral aspects of the matter are totally ignored ”.
The Forum observes that surrogate maternity violates the natural right of a child to be raised by his or her biological mother and affirms that the proposed bill has obvious gaps. In fact the Bill, which promises to monitor the commercialisation of births, could be easily bypassed and manipulated, for example by justifying surrogacy between relations and putting even more pressure on India’s women.
“With the advance of Human Reproduction Science and a business mentality, the uterus of a woman is considered no more than a container, a nursery from which to move a small plant to grow bigger in different earth” the report says. On these grounds the Forum urges the government to issue a total and unconditioned ban on surrogacy in India. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 3/4/2017)