The mother and two other people were arrested for repeatedly forcing the girl to “donate” eggs for assisted reproduction. In India, there are strict laws but not very enforced, which favors the appearance of breeding centers in peripheral realities with little control. Dr. Carvalho (Pontifical Academy for Life): “This affair opens our eyes to a flourishing trade which is tolerated in the name of great economic interests.”
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Three people, including two women, have been arrested for forcing a minor to ‘donate’ her eggs eight times at private fertility centers in Herod district of Tamil Nadu. Following the complaint of some relatives of the girl, the police arrested her mother, her partner and another woman.
According to investigations, the girl’s mother had separated from her husband and lived with her partner, a painter, since the victim was three years old. Apparently, the mother regularly sold the daughter’s eggs since she reached puberty. The couple received 20,000 rupees (about 240 euros) for each egg and 5,000 rupees (60 euros) in brokerage fees. In the past four years, the mother allegedly sold her daughter’s eggs 8 times to private clinics, after falsifying her identity document with a false name, age and marital status.
The young girl would also have suffered violence from her mother’s partner and would have been threatened with death by her mother if she denounced what was happening. But last week she reportedly worked up the courage to run away from home and tell other family members about the situation.
Indian law dictates very strict guidelines for the selection of egg donors. The Surrogacy Regulation Act 2021 prohibits surrogacy on a commercial scale. It recommends that the age of the donor be at least 21 years old and at most 35 years old and specifies that it is preferable that the donor have at least one child. “However – Dr. Pascoal Carvalho, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told AsiaNews – the business of egg donation is flourishing. The huge profits of the fertility industry have fueled the growth of unregulated clinics in small towns and villages beyond the control of the government. The commercialization of oocytes leads us to consider that human beings can be bought and sold on a free market”.
“The laws are there – continues Dr. Carvalho – but the percentages of condemnation or the degree of sanction do not seem dissuasive. It’s not until the proceedings go wrong or someone goes to court that everyone seems to wake up. In 2010, Sushma Pandey, just 17, died two days after donating eggs at a fertility clinic in Mumbai. In this specific case, in Tamil Nadu, we again have a minor involved. We must raise our voices to prevent these crimes against human beings and society. The Catholic Church has always defended human life in all its forms and has spoken out against life-degrading procedures. Suffice it to recall the document Donum Vitae, published in 1987 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which dealt with the moral implications of many modern fertility procedures.
“This case in Tamil Nadu – concludes the expert – should wake us up, leading us to extend our concern not only to the victim or the fate of the eggs and embryos, but also to our society, which comes to inflict such violence on a innocent girl with the euphemistic excuse of helping couples”.