Anti-Prostitution Case Ruled in Favor of NGOs
We are thrilled to report that the Supreme Court today ruled 6-2 in InterAction’s favor in the case of USAID v. AOSI. This ruling has significant implications for the work that we do.
The Court, in its decision today, affirmed a lower court’s decision that a requirement in a 2003 law violated freedom of speech. That law required that all groups receiving U.S government funds for international HIV and AIDS work have “a policy explicitly opposing prostitution.” The Supreme Court agreed in a 6-2 decision that this was a violation of our First Amendment rights.
The policy requirement would have affected the ability to provide life-saving health services to affected populations in the fight against HIV and AIDS and prevented us from speaking freely in the important debate over how best to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS. While we agree that the government can say how it wants its money spent, this requirement went far beyond that by shutting down research and debate on important topics.
The ruling is a victory for our community – most importantly and immediately, the people we work with whose lives are touched by HIV and AIDS. We are heartened by the Court’s decision and ready to continue our partnership with the U.S. government to save lives.
President and CEO, InterAction