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This Hong Kong airline made a woman take a pregnancy test before flying to Saipan

The test was meant to prove that the woman was not pregnant.

Riot police stand guard at the airport express central station in downtown Hong Kong, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. Hong Kong authorities were limiting airport transport services and controlling access to terminals Saturday as they braced for a second weekend of disruption following overnight demonstrations that turned violent. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
Riot police stand guard at the airport express central station in downtown Hong Kong, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019.
Vincent Yu, Associated Press

An airline from Hong Kong asked a female passenger to take a pregnancy test to prove she was not pregnant before she boarded a flight almost three weeks ago, CNN reports.

What’s going on: A 25-year-old Japanese woman, Midori Nishida, recently said that the airline Hong Kong Express asked her to take a “fit to fly” test to make sure she could fly on their plane to the U.S. island of Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific, CNN reports.

  • The test included a pregnancy test.
  • The airline asked her to take the test before her flight at Hong Kong International Airport.
  • The woman told The Wall Street Journal: “It was very humiliating and frustrating.”
  • She said the airline required the test for women who are “observed to have a body size or shape resembling a pregnant woman.”

Response: The airline issued a statement about the incident, CNN reports.

  • “We would like to apologize for the distress caused.”
  • “We took actions on flights to Saipan from February 2019 to help ensure US immigration laws were not being undermined.”
  • “Under our new management, we recognize the significant concerns this practice has caused. We have immediately suspended the practice while we review it.”

Why it happened: The Hong Kong Express Airways added the entire test to help limit the amount of tourism for the country, according to Fox News.

  • “In the past decade, the U.S. commonwealth has become an increasingly popular destination for foreign women to give birth as it gives their children eligibility for U.S. citizenship.”
  • Pregnant women are not banned from entering the U.S. territory. Immigration officials can stop visitors if they look like they’re entering the area to give birth.