Keep minimum age of 21 for availing ART: House panel | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare in its report on the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill 2020 recommended a uniform minimum age criteria of above 21 years for both women and men for availing ART services.
It recommended that minimum age for a woman who wants to avail of the services of an ART clinic or bank should be “above 21” and not “above the legal age of marriage” (which is 18 years) as used in the definition of a “eligible woman” in the bill. The committee said the specific age of 21 years be used in place of “legal age of marriage” in the clause where it is stated that “the clinics shall apply the ART services to women and men above the legal age of marriage and below the age of 50 years and 55 years for women and men respectively.”
The reasoning to settle for 21 years for a woman is also cited to ensure their safety. The report records that one stakeholder has informed the committee that the complications of IVF (Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, OHSS) are higher in younger woman.
After it was introduced in Lok Sabha, the ART Bill 2020 was referred in October last year to the standing committee on health and family welfare for examination. The committee chaired by Ram Gopal Yadav tabled its report in Parliament in the budget session that concluded last week. The bill provides for the regulation and supervision of the assisted reproductive technology clinics and the assisted reproductive technology banks, prevention of misuse, safe and ethical practice of assisted reproductive technology services.
The department of health research, in its response to the committee while giving clarification on whether bill allows single unmarried women to avail the service of ART, submitted that single woman as divorced, widowed and unmarried are allowed to avail ART services. “The bill allows single unmarried woman to avail ART services keeping in view that adoption is allowed for single woman,” it explained.
Meanwhile, the bill as of now defines a “commissioning couple” as an infertile married couple approaching an ART clinic or bank.
While deliberating over the issue of whether same sex couple and those in live-in relationships should be given reproductive rights under the ART Bill, the committee observed that “even though the Supreme Court has decriminalised same sex relationship, it did not introduce any special provisions or grant any additional rights to same sex couples.”

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