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L.A. to crack down on 'birthing tourism'

Los Angeles may take action against so-called maternity hotels, where pregnant women from other countries wait to deliver babies that will be born as U.S. citizens.

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A diaper box sits in front of a group of town homes in San Gabriel, Calif. that authorities say were illegally modified into a maternity ward. Los Angeles County is discussing a crackdown on so-called 'birthing hotels' and 'birthing tourism.'

Sarah Reingewirtz / San Gabriel Valley Tribune / AP / File

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A Los Angeles official moved on Tuesday to crack down on so-called maternity hotels he said have sprung up across parts of Southern California as pregnant women travel to the United States in a growing "birthing tourism" trend.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe asked colleagues to approve a series of steps designed to ultimately close the hotels - typically single-family homes carved into bedrooms where visiting women pay to stay in anticipation of giving birth to a child who will be born a U.S. citizen.

"His intent here with this motion is not to regulate these maternity hotels, it's to eliminate them," Knabe's spokeswoman, Cheryl Burnett, said following a Board of Supervisors meeting.

 
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