"I am happy because it is a step in the right direction," she said.
Although illegal in other countries, surrogacy for profit has been fueling an increasingly lucrative $1 billion business in India, where men and women from around the world "rent" the wombs of Indian women to carry their embryos in exchange for money. The practice is most often used by older women, infertile couples and same-sex couples.
The Washington Post reports that more than 6,000 surrogate babies are born in India every year, with almost half of them belonging to foreign couples. Additionally, the cost of service is usually anywhere from $18,000-$30,000 per pregnancy, $8,000 of which is reportedly paid to the surrogate mother herself, according to the Guardian.
However, concerns over the largely unregulated industry have been raised in the name of the mothers. In many surrogacy agreements, women of lower castes are pulled into surrogacy work because of the money involved, heightening the risk of exploitation and abuse.
"Why are they in India? Because there are poor women there," Lahl asserted.
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"In my mind, the best piece of legislation would be for India, like other countries such as Germany or France, to ban surrogacy altogether," she said.
Although surrogacy is a common practice, many of the women participating are poor and illiterate, critics charge, and they often don't realize the health implications of carrying a child that is not their own. Reuters reported that many of the surrogate mothers they interviewed could not explain the risks involved with surrogate pregnancies or the danger of having multiple embryos in their uterus.
"There are tremendous health risks, it's not like a natural pregnancy... surrogate pregnancies have additional risks on top of natural pregnancy risks," Lahl said.