28 Jun 2004

Pacific Women's Foundation protests against New Zealand pregnancy testing

3:26 pm on 28 June 2004

The Pacific Foundation for the Advancement of Women has sent a letter to the New Zealand government, protesting against its pregnancy testing of visa applicants.

The Foundation's Executive Director, Saloma Fulivai, says she is horrified Immigration has been testing some Pacific Island applicants because of fears they may be entering the country to give birth.

Ms Fulivai says her organisation is protesting at High Commissions across the region.

She says a letter has also been sent to the Prime Minister and Women's Affairs Minister in New Zealand.

Ms Fulivai says it is unfair to be testing women if New Zealand is worried about health care costs.

"Can all men be tested for virility? Because should they arrive in New Zealand and sleep with somebody and they get pregnant, that would be a cost to the health services of New Zealand. Why women? As if women were the only ones that reproduce. It's like a punishment of the reproductive role of women."

Saloma Fulivai says it's unfortunate a former role model of women's affairs in the pacific had stooped to such methods.