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Hong Kong residents are used to political parades calling for greater democracy in the region, yet this weekend they had a different kind of protest. Over a thousand pregnant women, mothers and their supporters took to the streets to protest the use of Hong Kong government hospitals by mainland Chinese women to give birth. They say it’s putting a strain on resources and leading to lower quality care for Hong Kong mothers.
Four out of ten births in Hong Kong’s hospitals last year were from mainland Chinese mothers, going to Hong Kong to take advantage of higher quality government health care. But it has put a strain on Hong Kong’s medical resources. Hong Kong’s mothers are fed up. Over one thousand of them and their supporters protested on Sunday.
They say they are now feeling the strained resources.
Another mother, also called Mrs. Chan, blames her bad birthing experience on the lack of medical resources available in Hong Kong.
[Mrs. Chan, Pregnant Mother]:
“When I was giving birth to my daughter last year, I experienced it myself. Medical personnel did not have a sufficient number of people. It was even to the point that they closed my door, in the birthing room I cried for my life. That’s when my husband burst in. Actually I could have already given birth. The baby’s head was already sticking out.”
The mothers say they are demonstrating for the next generation.
[Mrs. Lok, Pregnant Mother]:
“No matter what hardships we suffer, for the future, for the next generation we have come out to demonstrate.”
The parade set off at 3 pm marching toward government offices. They moved a little slower than Hong Kong’s usual political parades due to the large number of pregnant women present. When they arrived at the government offices they cut up a birth certificate in protest.