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Bill to regulate surrogacy tabled in Uganda parliament

Bill to regulate surrogacy tabled in Uganda parliament
In this Jan. 29, 2016 photo, Carmen Cruz, 31, waits to have her prenatal exam at the National Hospital for   -  
Copyright © africanews
Salvador Melendez/AP


Uganda's parliament has introduced a bill aimed at tightening regulations surrounding surrogacy, restricting its use to individuals facing infertility or health impediments hindering natural reproduction.

The proposed bill, tabled by Ugandan MP Sarah Opendi, also aims to establish a minimum age requirement of 18 for surrogates, with stringent penalties awaiting medical practitioners who flout these provisions.

Under the bill, medical practitioners could face imprisonment for up to five years if found guilty of violating the outlined regulations. Additionally, the utilization of their own gametes or embryos, or those not authorized by their clients, could lead to life imprisonment.

Moreover, donors must undergo screening to ensure they are free of genetic diseases, further emphasizing the bill's commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of all involved parties.

Entitled the Human-Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, the proposed legislation extends beyond surrogacy regulations, seeking to introduce comprehensive guidelines for various aspects of human-assisted reproduction. This includes the licensing and regulation of fertility centers, as well as oversight of sperm, oocyte, and embryo donation and storage.

Crucially, the bill also aims to introduce safeguards for children born through assisted reproduction methods, marking a significant step towards ensuring their rights and welfare.

Commenting on the bill, MP Sarah Opendi emphasized Uganda's potential to become a global leader in legislating assisted reproduction practices, underscoring the nation's commitment to enacting robust regulatory frameworks in this domain.

If passed, the bill promises to establish Uganda as a beacon of progress in addressing the complexities surrounding assisted reproduction, setting a precedent for other nations to follow suit in safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders involved.

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