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Commentary & Opinion

Obama Administration Loss in Anti-Prostitution Pledge Supreme Court Case Would Be "Victory for Health and Human Rights"

April 25, 2013

"No one denies that prostitution can be dangerous, demeaning work. But health experts long ago recognized that sanctions and stigma make it far more harmful," MSNBC.com health policy reporter Geoffrey Cowley writes in an MSNBC.com opinion piece. "So why is the Obama administration in the Supreme Court this week, fighting to enforce a policy that flouts all available evidence?" he asks, referring to a case, AOSI v USAID, challenging a law requiring non-profit organizations to adopt an anti-prostitution policy in order to obtain federal funding for HIV/AIDS programs abroad. "From the administration's perspective -- and the court's, for that matter -- the issue is not whether the pledge is bad health policy but the narrower one of whether violates the First Amendment. Justice Department lawyers say Congress has every right to choose suitable partners for a government initiative," he continues.

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