As US Supreme Court hears arguments on PEPFAR's anti-prostituton pledge, experts worry pro-Trump ruling could mean more conditioning of US assistance
For the second time in seven years, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments as to whether foreign organizations can be subject to an anti-prostitution pledge as a condition of receiving funds under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
In a ruling in 2013, the Supreme Court held that such a pledge restricted the constitutional rights of US organizations. In the current case, the Trump administration attempted to prohibit PEPFAR funds from going to foreign affiliates of US organizations unless they denounced prostitution. The Court, which heard arguments by phone due to the COVID-19 pandemic, appeared skeptical that there was any difference between US- and foreign-based organizations. The case was brought on behalf of a number of US NGOs, including InterAction, Save the Children, and World Vision. During the argument, some justices raised concerns that such restrictions could have broader implications for attaching other conditions to US foreign assistance.