2010-11-30 16:27:49

Indian Church leaders oppose reproductive bill

(November 30, 2010) Proposed legislation to govern the use of reproductive technology in India would bring moral and social anarchy in the country, Church people have warned. “The bill will have far reaching consequences in our society and we are dead against it,” Archbishop George Valiamattam of Tellicherry told ucanews on Monday. Hundreds of people attended the recent seminar organized by the archdiocese to explain the bill and its social implications. The Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Act (ART), which the government plans to introduce in parliament soon, provides a national framework for accreditation, regulation and supervision of clinics dealing with assisted reproductive technology.
The bill was prepared by the Indian Council for Medical Research and aims to help people who try to conceive using donated eggs or sperm, to identify the donors. The legislation also gives donors and their offspring an opportunity to access this information.
Fr.Paul Thelakat,editor of Church weekly in Kerala, said that the proposed legislation would “open a Pandora’s box”as it would question “the very definition” of marriage and parenthood, “the foundations of the our society.” The bill allows opening of sperm and ovum banks and encourages surrogate motherhood. This will lead to“unforeseen moral and physical issues”as young people may sell ovum and sperm to make money. The bill will open a new market where everybody can become “sellers and buyers,” Fr.Thelakat warned.
Fr.James Puthennadayil, who directs the family apostolate department of Tellicherry archdiocese, said they have already launched a signature campaign to mark their protest. “The diocese plans more seminars and public meetings to awake the public,” he added.

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