HK Express apologises for forcing woman to take pregnancy test before flight
A Hong Kong airline has apologised after its staff required a passenger to take a pregnancy test.
A 25-year-old Japanese woman was reportedly forced to take a pregnancy test before she was allowed to board a flight from Hong Kong to Saipan.
Midori Nishida was asked to complete a questionnaire prior to her HK Express flight in November.
After declaring she was not pregnant on the form, a rep for the airline told her she had been picked for a random “fit-to-fly” check and escorted to a restroom.
Nishida was then asked to urinate on a strip to prove she was not pregnant.
“I wanted to make sure that this was really mandatory, so I asked them, ‘Do I really have to take this test, is this necessary?'” Nishida told the Washington Post.
“They said, ‘You can opt-out for the test,’ but that means they would deny me boarding the flight. I felt like my hands were tied, so I had no choice,” she added.
HK Express apologised “unreservedly” for the incident but stressed that it was responding to concerns from US officials.
Saipan is part of the US territory of the Northern Mariana Islands and has become a hot spot for birth tourism due to the birthright citizenship law in the United States.
Birth tourism has become so rampant on the island that in recent years more babies were born to tourists than its permanent residents.
In 2019, tourists gave birth to 582 babies, while residents delivered 492.
HK Express have said it will immediately suspended the pregnancy test practice.