U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has supported an initiative that would require pregnant women to show their passports at hospitals, The Independent reports. May claims that such measures are necessary to ensure that free medical care is only provided to people who are “eligible to have those services.”
St. George’s University Hospitals Foundation Trust, the largest healthcare provider in southwest London, recently said that it has fallen victim to a “maternity tourism” scheme. In exchange for a fee, conmen are helping pregnant women from Nigeria give birth in the U.K., where the cost of labor is supported by the country’s National Health Service.
Now, St. George’s hospitals will ask all laboring women for their passports, or proof of their right to remain in the country.
The plan was condemned by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. “No ultrasound without photographic evidence, heavily pregnant women sent home on icy roads to get a passport. Are these really the actions of a country where it doesn’t matter where you are born?” he asked during a session in the House of Commons.
May responded by saying that “emergency care will be provided when necessary absolutely without those questions.”
She continued, “But what is important is that we ensure that, when people should be paying because they don’t have the right access to free care in the health service, they do.”
Read the full story at The Independent.