TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

HIV drug mandate violates religious freedom, judge rules

HIV drug mandate violates religious freedom, judge rules

US healthcare plans that cover the main HIV prevention drug free of charge are in violation of the right to religious freedom, a judge has ruled.
Employers are required to cover certain preventive services and medications in their insurance plans under US law.But a group of Texas Christians sued in 2020 over coverage of the HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, drug.

They argued the drug can "facilitate or encourage homosexual behavior".

PrEP is recommended for adults who are at high risk of contracting HIV. It can reduce infection risk by as much as 99% when taken as prescribed, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC has credited its growing use as a key factor in declining HIV infections. Oral editions of the drug have been used by more than 600,000 people in 76 countries, according to the World Health Organization.

Plaintiffs in Texas argued that the system by which the federal government decides what preventive services must be covered by employer insurance plans is unconstitutional.

The lawsuit filed by Austin-based attorney Jonathan Mitchell - who is credited with devising the state's six-week abortion ban - brings together self-proclaimed Christian businesses and employers.

One plaintiff in the case, Dr Steven Hotze, argued that covering PrEP drugs for his employees would be contrary to his "sincere religious beliefs".

The physician, who is a megadonor to the Republican party and a frequent litigator on behalf of conservative causes, claimed common over-the-counter medications like Truvada and Descovy can "facilitate or encourage homosexual behavior".

Plaintiffs also wrote that they "do not need or want" to cover the drug in insurance plans "because they are in monogamous relationships with their respective spouses" and "because neither they nor any of their family members are engaged in behavior that transmits HIV".

CDC data shows that nearly one in five new HIV cases in the US are now among women, with the vast majority coming through heterosexual contact.

But District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled on Wednesday that the government cannot require "private, religious corporations" to cover the drug "with no cost-sharing and no religious exemptions".

He wrote that PrEP specifically violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The RFRA is frequently invoked in challenges to abortion access and gender-affirming care for transgender people.

Medical experts had earlier slammed the lawsuit as a threat to the entire framework of coverage for preventive services.

The American Medical Association and a coalition of 60 medical organizations wrote in July that one adverse ruling could mean "patients would lose access to vital preventive healthcare services, such as screening for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, preeclampsia, and hearing".

The federal government is expected to appeal Wednesday's ruling.
Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×