A 25-year-old Japanese woman was about to board a flight from Hong Kong to Saipan when a staff member of Hong Kong Express airlines said she would have to take a pregnancy test, reports Oddity Central. The woman had indicated on a check-in questionnaire that she was not pregnant, but the staff member didn't believe her and told her that she couldn't fly without proving she wasn't pregnant. She took the test and was found to be not pregnant.
Saipan is a United States Territory and U.S. officials are concerned about birth tourism. According to U.S. law, babies born in the United States automatically become U.S. citizens.
From Oddity Central:
The island of Saipan has apparently become a popular destination for foreign women to give birth in, since under US law any child born on one of its territories is automatically granted American citizenship.
Being admitted into the North Marian Islands commonwealth is much easier than entering the United States, so it's not very surprising that 2018 saw more tourists giving birth on Saipan than there are residents on the island.
Hong Kong Express Airways specified that Midori Nishida's pregnancy test was meant "to help ensure US immigration laws were not being undermined". The airline has since apologized and suspended the practice of forcing women to take pregnancy tests.
[1/29/2020 6:20pm PT] An important correction from Doug Rand:
Today you mistakenly propagated an incendiary, uncorroborated, & easily debunked absurdity.
Saipan: population 48k
CDC data suggest <<<10k "birth tourists" per year across the entire US.
— Doug Rand (@doug_rand) January 30, 2020