17 Mar 2005

American Samoa reinforces rules on access for expecting mothers

8:36 am on 17 March 2005

The attorney-general in American Samoa has re-enforced local laws that prohibit entry into the territory for women who are seven to nine months pregnant.

Sialega Malaetasi Togafau says his office will fine any airline that allows entry of such women into the territory.

Sialega says the offending passengers would be immediately returned to their point of origin.

He says in the past pregnant mothers had gone straight from the airport to the LBJ Hospital because they were in labor.

The president of the Senate, Lolo Moliga, says a recent government report noted that more than 1,300 mothers delivered babies last year, and only about 300 of them were by American Samoan mothers.