A Hong Kong airline is reported to have demanded a passenger to take a pregnancy test before boarding her flight to the United States.
According to the Hong Kong Express Airways, they wanted the passenger to prove that she was not pregnant before boarding her flight to the US territory of Northern Mariana Island in the Pacific.
The lady, Midori Nishida, was forced to take a “fit to fly” assessment back in last November. She was forced to fill a questionnaire and take a pregnancy test prior to boarding the flight. Nishida was eventually allowed to board the plane after the test came out negative.
The airline defended its position by claiming that it was helping to ensure US immigration laws were not being undermined. Hong Kong Express Airways have since released another statement apologizing for their actions and have suspended the practice for further review.
Reports indicate that the American island has become a popular destination for “birth tourism” where foreign nationals give birth in the territory to ensure their babies become US citizens.
A report from CNN indicates that birth tourism has become so rampant in the Mariana Islands in recent years that more babies were born to tourists than its permanent residents.
According to the US Government’s official website, there are “no rules prohibiting pregnant visitors from entering the United States” — however entering the country “to give birth” is prohibited.