Counterproductive Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technologies: A Review of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Bill, 2020

This article critically engages with the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill, 2020 (ART Bill 2020) which is set to draw curtains on a regulatory journey of more than a decade and a half to culminate in a highly restrictive approach. Engaging with the provisions of this Bill, the article foregrounds that one of the important ways in which this restrictive approach finds articulation is by defining eligibility criteria that are exclusionary and seek to regiment the possibilities that technology opens for founding families beyond the strict realms of heteronormative marriage. The article also argues that there are several lacunae in the Bill that exacerbate concerns around implementation and operationalization if it is passed in its current form. Moreover, it shows that such gaps and inconsistencies also open adequate grounds for the legislation to be challenged on constitutional grounds. With the objective of addressing exploitation, recent regulatory steps with regard to reproduction facilitated by technology have taken a taken a stance that reeks of hetero-patriarchal moralist undertones. In this context, this article also views the ART Bill 2020 in tandem with the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 where it demonstrates how there is a lack of complementarity between the provisions of the two Bills.

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