The Congress on Friday demanded that the draft surrogacy Bill, cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday, be "reconsidered" as it was "unscientific", "anti-liberal" and "paternalistic". Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi compared the Bill to "a draft from the stone ages" and said it did not suit the times we lived in. "...Besides [being] non-progressive and non scientific…All kinds of value judgements have been injected into it in a very paternalistic manner," he added, according to The Indian Express.
The main Opposition party at the Centre questioned the need for surrogacy to be allowed only through close relatives and only for married couples and also criticised the ten-years imprisonment proposed for violators. "This is totally out of tune with contemporary realities, and we hope and trust that a wider consultative process will follow...I doubt [the Bill] will meet any form of parliamentary approval. It must be reconsidered," Singhvi said.
After the draft surrogacy Bill was approved by the Narendra Modi-led Cabinet, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said the proposed law aimed to impose a "complete ban" on commercial surrogacy, protect the rights of surrogate mothers and legalise the parentage of such children. It also prohibits foreigners, single parents, non-resident Indians, live-in couples and homosexual couples from having surrogate babies, in addition to couples who already have children.