HK Express apologises for making women travelling to Saipan take pregnancy tests

20-Jan-2020 Intellasia | USA Today | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The airline Hong Kong Express has apologised for having required some female passengers bound for the US territory of Saipan to take pregnancy tests.

The low-cost carrier said in a statement Friday that it began requiring such tests in February 2019, after concerns were raised by Saipan authorities, to ensure US immigration laws were not “undermined.”

“We would like to apologise unreservedly to anyone who has been affected by this,” it said.

“Under our new management, we recognise the significant concerns this practice has caused. We have immediately suspended the practice while we review it,” it said.

The US has been seeking to prevent travellers, especially from China, from heading to Saipan and other American territories to give birth and potentially gain US citizenship for their babies.

The issue surfaced after a Japanese passenger complained late last year that she felt “humiliated” when she was required to undergo such a test while travelling to the island.

Midori Nishida, who lives in Tokyo but grew up in Saipan, said that while preparing to board her flight she was taken to a public restroom and handed a pregnancy test, which came out negative.

“Satisfied that I had no baby in me, the airline staff finally issued me a boarding pass,” Nishida said in comments published by the Saipan Tribune.

“I am truly appalled by the entire situation,” she said, saying she usually looked forward to visiting Saipan and seeing family and friends. “But after this incident, I can only think of how I will be suspected, investigated, and humiliated before I can return to a place I consider home.”


Category: Hong Kong

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