Passenger forced to take pregnancy test before boarding flight

2020-01-15 11:45
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Passengers have been subjected to all kinds of requirements before boarding a plane, but one woman faced something quite unusual.

A 25-year-old woman from Japan was stopped from boarding a Hong Kong Express Airways flight until she could prove that she isn't pregnant, reports The Independent. 

READ: Too far? Passenger fakes pregnancy to avoid paying for excess luggage 

Midori Nishida was flying from Hong Kong to Saipan - a US territory - when the crew didn't believe her when asked if she was pregnant. She was taken to a toilet by a staff member where she was forced to urinate on a test strip. 

After the test came back negative, only then was she allowed to board.

Nishida told the Wall Street Journal that she felt humiliated and frustrated over the ordeal, and the airline has said that that they've suspended the practice while they review it.

And the reason behind the strange requirement? The airlines said it was to adhere to US immigration laws. 

Saipan has become a popular destination for Chinese mothers who travel to the Pacific island to give birth on purpose in order to get an American passport for their child. 

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This is known as 'birth tourism', and Saipan is especially attractive as it is a visa-free destination for Chinese citizens - the country that makes up a lot of the birth tourism market. The US is one of a few countries that offer unconditional birthright citizenship.

In South Africa however, at least one parent has to be a citizen or permanent resident for a child born here to gain citizenship.

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