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Grant recipients don’t need to declare opposition to prostitution, rules Supreme Court

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4079 (Published 24 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f4079
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

The US government cannot require recipients of its grants or organizations it contracts with to declare their opposition to prostitution, because that would violate free speech as protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution, the Supreme Court has said.

The issue arose when Congress reauthorized an international foreign assistance program that includes PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). It inserted language that prohibited funds going to activities that promoted prostitution and banned support for any organization “that does not have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution.”

Opponents of the provision argued that it was shortsighted. Prostitution …

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