In a ruling to protect free speech, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that an anti-prostitution pledge, required by organizations that receive funds from USAID is unconstitutional.
In a practical sense, the ruling means that aid organizations can give prostitutes free condoms, provided by U.S. tax payers and do not have to persuade them to reform. They can also support legitimate efforts to organize as sex workers, either in a union or to demand government benefits.
One of the reasons cited by the court for overturning the 2003 law was it’s broad mandate. Not only were organizations required to denounce prostitution, but actively lobby other countries to make the activity illegal. Since its passage under George Bush, PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) has funneled $46 billion into combating the international spread of HIV/AIDS.
As with many international social programs, PEPFAR is a good example of how the U.S. government, through USAID works to promote its own special interest, which in this case is to allocate funding for holy rollers to go on save’a ho expeditions in places like Costa Rica. Christian fundamentalist organizations like Fundación Rahab in Costa Rica will at least have more competition when it comes to pandering for hard earned taxpayer dollars through USAID.