A pregnant mainland woman who said she wanted to give birth in Hong Kong because she faced a forced abortion in China won a court order yesterday blocking a move to send her back. Mr Justice Raymond Sears said that if the woman's claims were true, he should help her stay as an 'act of mercy'. Chan Ying-fa, 25, who is married to a Hong Kong resident, gave birth to her first child in the territory last November after deliberately overstaying her permit. She is now 4.5 months' pregnant with her second child. Mr Justice Sears, presiding in the High Court over the application for leave to apply for a judicial review, said: 'If the position is that she is forced to have an abortion then I would have thought, as an act of mercy, I should try to do something to allow her to stay.' He gave the woman, who was due to return to China today, permission to pursue a court battle with the Immigration Department and ordered she not be removed until the case was settled. Her husband, Fok Tong, 50, has another four children by two former wives. He promised the judge he would have a vasectomy after the child was born. Mr Justice Sears said it was a pity that Ms Chan was pregnant again because Mr Tong already had 'rather a lot of children'. The husband said that he regretted having so many with former wives but Ms Chan wanted two children of her own. Mr Fok promised his wife would return to the mainland after giving birth. They would have to pay a fine for having too many children but at least the baby would be alive, he added. 'If she returns now then she will definitely be forced to have an abortion and the child will no longer exist,' he told the judge. Mr Tong met Ms Chan while working in China. She is the same age as his eldest daughter. The judge told the couple to apply for legal aid for a lawyer to represent them in their High Court hearing. No date for the judicial review was set. He said he did not know whether they would win their battle, but added: 'This case is unusual and therefore I should permit it to be further investigated.'