In the past, women looking to evade China’s one-child policy, with its provisions for forced abortions and sterilizations, went to Hong Kong in order to give birth to a child who would have normally been born illegally — subjecting families to fines, imprisonment or worse. Now, Hong Kong is beginning to crack down on the practice.
In April, the territory refused entry to a heavily pregnant mainland woman wanting to give birth there. The woman, from Beijing and seven months pregnant, was ordered off a train and told to return to her home province to give birth. Earlier this year, Leung Chun-ying, the territory’s new chief executive, announced that starting in 2013 “zero” mothers from the mainland will be permitted to give birth in public Hong Kong hospitals unless they have a Hong Kong husband. Private hospitals have also agreed to drastically cut their quotas.