Why We Went All the Way to the Supreme Court

“To the thousands of sex workers we serve, this ruling could absolutely be hope for a better life!” —Darshana Vyas, Director of the Mukta project, Pathfinder International

"I have always been proud of Pathfinder's courage—its willingness to go where others fear to go, which is a legacy from our founders." —Cynthia Fields, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Pathfinder International

“It is a historic victory for us, and also vindication of our stand that promoting safer sexual practices among sex workers for prevention of HIV did not mean promoting prostitution.” —Darshana Vyas, Director of the Mukta project, Pathfinder International

"The Brazilian Network of Sex Workers shared that 'the decision shows the importance of the judiciary in guaranteeing rights violated by the executive and other bodies.'” —Carlos Laudari, Pathfinder's Senior Technical Advisor, HIV Prevention

“We stay ready to continue our partnership with the US government and all others who work with us to deliver quality, high impact programs that reach those most at need and often denied access.” —Purnima Mane, President and CEO

“If we proceed with this lawsuit, we have to be all in.”

On the morning of November 29, 2005, Pathfinder International’s board of directors had to make a monumental decision of whether or not to sue the organization’s largest funder—the US Government.

Everyone at Pathfinder agreed that the “Anti-Prostitution Pledge”—a 2003 law requiring all groups receiving US Government funds for international HIV and AIDS work have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution—was damaging to public health. It could severely undermine efforts to prevent the spread of HIV worldwide by impeding organizations that work with key populations, and could intensify stigma and fear among sex workers, driving them further away from HIV education and prevention services.

Everyone at Pathfinder also agreed that the pledge violated free speech. While the government can dictate what can be done with its money, the pledge went far beyond that. It forced groups like Pathfinder to adopt an organization-wide policy, thereby restricting how they spend their own private funds to do HIV work.

All of this weighed heavily on Pathfinder staff and its board of directors. Yet, they had to ask—Is this our fight?

A Risk Worth Taking

During their meeting, the board spoke of the risk. If Pathfinder mounted a legal challenge, could it hurt the organization’s chances for federal funding, not just within PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), but beyond?

When they discussed how the restriction violated the First Amendment, Andrew Frey, a board member who specializes in Supreme Court litigation, rightly pointed out, “The Constitution is violated in some way or another every single day. We must decide if this particular constitutional violation is important enough to Pathfinder’s beliefs and concerns that it stands out from others, meriting action on our part. And if we do join the suit, we should do so with wholehearted commitment.”

The rest of the board agreed, and then added something critical. They noted the common thread between the board and Pathfinders everywhere—they are all compelled to support the world’s most underserved women. So in the final moments of the meeting, the board asked themselves, “Who is more underserved than a female sex worker in a developing country?”

Daniel Pellegrom, Pathfinder’s President and CEO from 1985 to 2011, remembers that question. “I also recall the pause—silence, really—that followed. Finally, someone said, ‘I think we are ready for a vote.’  The measure was moved, seconded, and passed. Pathfinder became co-plaintiff with AOSI (Alliance for Open Society International, Inc.) in a lawsuit against the US Government. There was not one opposing vote on the Pathfinder board.”

Courage is Communicable

“Without Pathfinder, the suit might have gone nowhere,” said Pellegrom. “No other organizations in our field seemed ready to seriously consider joining AOSI; the risk for them evidently outweighed the advantages. But AOSI needed help to meet the test of ‘standing’ in court. Since much of our work is supported by USAID, and we implement HIV and AIDS programs that target sex workers, Pathfinder was able to demonstrate how the pledge would limit our successful strategies in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Once Pathfinder took the plunge, more than 200 other organizations (under the umbrella of InterAction and Global Health Council) chose to align themselves with the case to take a stand.”

The case progressed with one court after another affirming Pathfinder’s stance. The US District Court for the Southern District of New York twice ruled that the pledge violated the First Amendment. In June 2006, the court issued a preliminary injunction, prohibiting USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing the pledge against Pathfinder and AOSI. Two years later, the injunction was expanded to include the US-based members of the Global Health Council and InterAction, upon their becoming official co-plaintiffs in the suit.

In 2010, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s decision that the pledge could not withstand heightened First Amendment scrutiny. Pathfinder was relieved, but continued its advocacy, believing the biggest test had yet to come.

Finally in April of 2013, more than seven years after Pathfinder’s board of directors took their vote, the Supreme Court of the United States heard the US Government’s appeal of Pathfinder’s lawsuit. In June, the court issued its important decision.

Victory

"This victory will enable us to continue to support the most underserved populations, treating them with the human dignity we all deserve and to do so without compromising any of our principles." -Purnima ManeThe US Supreme Court ruled 6-2 in Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc., et al., holding that the anti-prostitution pledge violates the First Amendment and cannot be sustained. In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that while Congress may attach conditions to federal funding that specify the activities Congress wishes to subsidize and require federal funds be used only for those purposes, a funding condition is impermissible if it intrudes on private speech outside the contours of the government program. The decision was a strong and resounding message in favor of Pathfinder and fellow co-plaintiffs, AOSI, Inc., InterAction, and Global Health Council, igniting celebrations among Pathfinder staff around the world.

Pathfinder’s current President and CEO, Purnima Mane, believes the victory speaks to the kind of organization Pathfinder is and always will be. “This victory will enable us to continue to support the most underserved populations, treating them with the human dignity we all deserve and to do so without compromising any of our principles. The onus is now upon us to do an even better job of getting services to all those who need them the most and are often denied access, and on doing so with greater impact and even better quality.”

And in India, where Pathfinder implements a successful project to fight HIV by empowering female sex workers, the verdict is a sign of things to come. “To be honest, I do not think many organizations in the US would have the stomach to do what we did!” said Darshana Vyas, Director of the Mukta project. “Our conviction and hard work all these years certainly paid off. This ruling is going to help marginalized and stigmatized populations we serve all over the world.”

Focus Area: Advocacy

Jonathan J. Rucks

Jonathan J. Rucks is Pathfinder International's Director of Advocacy.

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

Excellent website you have here, so much cool information!.. Dream Help
william November 22, 2014
So in the final moments of the meeting, the board asked themselves, “Who is more underserved than a female sex worker in a developing country Healthwolf
Name November 22, 2014
I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories. Naardstrim Amazing Hemorrhoid Solution
william November 22, 2014
Custom Stickers for cars can cret a new look for your ride or show off your own personality. We have loaded our website down with the most unique decal we can produce we have just about anything and everything you can think of. Naruto ultimate ninja storm 2 PC Game full version
alex November 20, 2014
Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences. mega gokarty warszawa
william November 20, 2014
Burberry Outlet, http://www.burberry-factory.com/
The North Face Clearance, http://www.thenorthface.so/
Coach Outlet Online, http://www.official-coachoutlet.com/
Barbour Jackets Outlet, http://www.barbour-factory.com/
Abercrombie And Fitch Clothes, http://www.abercrombiee.com/
Burberry Outlet Online, http://www.burberryoutlet2014.com/
Prada Outlet Online, http://www.shophandbagsonline.com/
Burberry Clothes Outlet, http://www.clothes-mall.com/
Cheap Gucci Clothes, http://www.guccibags.us.com/
Marc Jacobs Outlet, http://www.marcjacobsonsale.com/
Cheap MCM Backpack, http://www.mcmworldwide.ca/
Gucci Bags Outlet, http://www.guccishoes-uk.com/
Kate Spade Outlet Online, http://www.kate-spades.com/
Louis Vuitton Outlet Online, http://www.louisvuittonas.com/
Louis Vuitton Outlet, http://www.lv-guccishoesfactory.com/
Michael Kors Outlet Online, http://www.michaelkors.so/
Michael Kors Outlet, http://www.michaelkorsonlineusa.com/
Michael Kors Black Friday, http://www.michael-korsusa.net/
Moncler Outlet, http://www.moncler-clearance.com/
North Face Outlet, http://www.north-faceoutlets.net/
North Face Jackets Clearance, http://www.northsclearance.com/
Cheap Oakley Sunglaases, http://www.oakleyssunglassoutlet.com/
Michael Kors Outlet Online, http://www.official-mkoutlet.com/
Prada Outlet Online, http://www.official-pradaoutlet.com/
Polo Outlet Store Online, http://www.polo-outlets.com/
Polo Outlet Online, http://www.ralph-laurens.com/
Ralph Lanren UK, http://www.ralphlaurentshirts.com/
Longchamp Outlet Online, http://www.longchampsoutlet.com/
Coach Outlet Online, http://coach.mischristmas.com/
Barbour Jackets Black Friday, http://www.barbour-jacketsoutlet.com/
Monster Beats Outlet, http://www.beatsbydreoutlet.net/
Polo Outlet, http://www.ralphslauren.co.uk/
Uggs Boots Sale, http://www.warmbootssale.com/
Woolrich Jackets Outlet, http://www.woolrich-clearance.com/
Nike Air Max Shoes, http://www.nike-jordanshoes.com/
Monster Beats Outlet Online, http://www.monsterbeatsbydres.net/
Cheap Canada Goose Jackets, http://www.canada-gooser.com/
Coach Factory, http://www.bestcustomsonline.com/
Coach Black Friday 2014, http://www.coach-blackfriday2014.com/
coachfactory.com/shop, http://www.coachccoachoutlet.com/
Coach Bags Store, http://www.coach-clearance.com/
Coach Factory Outlet, http://www.coach-factories.net/
Coach Factory Store, http://www.coach-factorysoutlet.com/
Coach Outlet, http://www.coachlosangeles.com/
Tommy Hilfiger Outlet Online, http://www.tommyhilfiger.in.net/
Coach Outlet Online, http://www.coachoutletstates.com/
Cheap Coach Purses, http://www.coach-pursesoutlets.com/
Hermes Bags Outlet, http://www.hermes-outletonline.com/
Black Friday, http://www.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Factory Outlet Online, http://www.mischristmas.com/
Moncler Jackets Outlet, http://www.moncler-jacketsoutletonline.com/
Coach Purses Store Online, http://www.newoutletonlinemall.com/
Ralph Lauren Polo, http://www.ralphlaurenepolo.com/
Coach Outlet Online, http://www.zxcoachoutlet.com/

Michael Kors Factory, http://michaelkorsoutlet.mischristmas.com/
MCM Outlet Online, http://mcmbackpack.mischristmas.com/
Beats by Dre Outlet, http://monsterbeats.mischristmas.com/
North Jackets Outlet Online, http://northfaceoutlet.mischristmas.com/
Michael Kors Outlet Online, http://mk.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Outlet Online, http://coachoutlet.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Factory Outlet, http://coachfactory.misblackfriday.com/
Ugg Boots Sale, http://uggaustralia.misblackfriday.com/
Cheap Coach Purses, http://coachpurses.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Outlet Online USA, http://coachusa.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Outlete, http://coach.misblackfriday.com/
Michael Kors Black Friday, http://michaelkorss.misblackfriday.com/
Michael Kors Outlet, http://michaelkors.misblackfriday.com/
Nike Air Max, http://airmax.misblackfriday.com/
Michael Kors Sale, http://michael-kors.misblackfriday.com/ bloomingdales coupons, http://www.shophandbagsonline.com/ Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Hermes Outlet Online Prada Outlet Chanel Outlet Online gucci backpack Burberry Outlet Celine Outlet Balenciaga Outlet Christian Dior Outlet Online Chloe Outlet Online Bvlgari Outlet Online Bally Outlet coachfactory.com Michael Kors Outlet Online MCM Backpack Outlet Online Fendi Outlet Online mulberry Outlet Marc Jacobs Outlet Miu Miu Outlet Online Ysl Outlet Online Tory Burch Outlet Online Givenchy Outlet Online Ferragamo Outlet Online Lancel Outlet Online Loewe Bags Outlet Online Tods Outlet Online Paul Smith Outlet Online Dolce Gabbana Outlet Online Alexander Wang Outlet Online Bottega Veneta Outlet Online



Kailey November 19, 2014
Toko online kami menjual baju import dari korea dengan harga yang murah, silahkan kunjungi website kami di Baju Online Murah. Grosir pakaian dari Jakarta menjual beraneka jenis pakaian model terbaru klik infonya di sini. Toko Online kami menjual dompet dan tas dengan model terbaru dengan harga yang murah, baik itu tas branded maupun lokal, kualitas barangnya terjamin. Seperti tas punggung jansport, dengan banyak pilihan model dan warna, lihat di sini. Kami juga menjual aneka tas wanita branded dengan model yang elegan, cantik, dengan harga terjangkau, namun kualitas baik, silahkan lihat koleksi selengkapnya. Lihat juga koleksi dompet untuk anak dengan beraneka macam motif dan gambar yang lucu. Lihat -lihat juga toko tas online ini, yamg menjual tas dan dompet wanita dan pria model terbaru. Apabila wajah anda bermasalah, sering berjerawat, simak info perawatan wajah berjerawat, yang bisa anda praktekan sendiri di rumah. Baca juga info dan tips cara pengobatan jerawat secara alami yang dapat membantu anda dalam menghilangkan jerawat. Selain itu ada juga cara menangani bekas jerawat secara alami maupun medis, baca selengkapnya di sini. Sudah mendengar tentang Alat kecantikan nano Spray? Alat kecantikan kulit ini dapat mengatasi berbagai permasalahan kulit. Konon katanya alat ini memliki khasiatnya yang sama dengan treatment oksigen. Grosir baju muslim online menjual gamis dan tunik wanita. Kami juga menyediakan model jilbab terbaru seperti jilbab instan/ bergo dan pashmina yang syar'i namun tetap modis, silahkan lihat koleksinya dengan meng-klik link ini. Toko tas online di Jakarta menyediakan aneka tas keren dan modis. Tas punggung branded dengan model terbaru, silahkan klik link koleksi tas terbaru. Kami juga menjual tote bag aneka motif dan karakter yang lucu dan cantik dengan harga murah, terbuat dari bahan kanvas yang tebal, kualitasnya bagus. Silahkan lihat koleksi tote bag kami klik link ini. Cek juga dompet branded terbaru kami. Cara mengobati jerawat hingga tuntas yaitu dengan menangani jerawatnya terlebih dahulu sampai jerawat tak lagi nampak di wajah anda, silahkan simak caranya, setelah itu lakukan tindakan untuk bekas jerawatnya, dengan cara di blog ini. Alternatif perawatan kulit lainnya yaitu terapi wajah dengan oksigen. Cara ini sudah umum dilakukan, namun tentu saja biasanya tidak murah. Bagi anda yang tertarik metode perawatan ini, nano spray MCI dapat menjadi solusi. Cara kerja nano spray yang mengubah partikel air yang besar menjadi berukuran nano memudahkan oksigen meresap ke dalam pori-pori wajah, simak selengkapnya.
Kikan November 19, 2014
Custom Stickers for cars can cret a new look for your ride or show off your own personality. We have loaded our website down with the most unique decal we can produce we have just about anything and everything you can think of. Here is just a small list of some of the Decals Stickers we have to offer. windshield banners, custom stickers, custom greek letters, jdm stickers, in loving memory stickers, car decals, custom car decals, car window decals, truck stickers, funny car stickers, decal stickers, military stickers, vinyl decals, hunting decals, car window decals , windshield decals, stickers for cars, animal stickers, jdm decals, in loving memory decals, decals for cars, auto stickers, truck decals, vinyl stickers, funny car decals, military decals, window decals ,family stickers, hunting stickers, truck window decals Thank you and God Bless!!
bobbie30 November 19, 2014
Your music is amazing. You have some very talented artists. I wish you the best of success. WorkingYoutubeViews
william November 19, 2014
hi!,I really like your writing so much! share we be in contact more approximately your article on AOL? I require a specialist in this space to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you! Having a look ahead to peer you. visit here
Daniel November 18, 2014
I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return. official website
Pocket Knife Guides November 18, 2014
We extremely appreciate your website post. There are a lot of ways we could put it to very good use with minimum effort with time and capital. Thank you so much pertaining to helping have the post answer many concerns we have come across before now. Click here
Scarlett November 18, 2014
Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweets would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks official website
website November 17, 2014
burberry outlet burberry handbags ray ban sunglass tory burch outlet burberry handbags coach factory outlet coach factory outlet tory burch handbags coach factory outlet michael kors outlet online copy watches mont blanc pen holister clothing chanel handbags coach outlet canada goose jackets true religion sale michael kors outlet online sale abercrombie kids belstaff timberland canada ghd hair strighteners louis vuitton handbags www.louisvuitton.com imitation watches knockoff watches hermes belts louis vuitton outlet online timberland boots red timberland boots louis vuitton mont blanc legend coach outlet store online p90x workouts holister co the north face outlet abercrombie fitch canada goose jordan 13 gucci shoes mont blanc pen burberry outlet toms canada ray ban glasses louis vuitton black friday ugg boots christian louboutin sale juicy couture black friday cyber monday deals holister true religion sale michael kors handbags tory burch shoes hollister clothing burberry supra shoes nike outlet stores louis vuitton handbags toms wedges the north face jackets ugg sale true religion kors outlet gucci shoes timberland boots ugg boots beats headphones timberland canada coach outlet store online michael kors outlet moncler outlet rayban sunglasses burberry handbags ugg boots fake watches true religion discount oakley sunglasses canada goose abercrombie & fitchfitch coach outlet store online jordan retro adida srunning shoes cyber monday sales louis vuitton outlet canada goose sale louis vuitton handbags rayban sunglasses louis vuitton handbags tory burch outlet online hollister clothing store oakley sunglasses mont blanc christian louboutin shoes replica rolex watches true religion sale oakley vault cheap uggs michael kors outlet online sale burberry bags canada goose christian louboutin sale abercrombie store coach factory outlet louis vuitton handbags timberlands abercrombie store burberry sale oakley sunglasses wholesale louis vuitton kobe shoes celine outlet michael kors outlet hollister co michael kors outlet retro jordans burberry outlet online true religion jeans michael kors handbags abercrombie burberry sale oakley sunglasses gucci belts dior handbags oakley sunglasses wholesale adidas outlet store jordan 11 gamma blue michael kors outlet online chanel online shop lululemon ray ban sunglasses hollister clothing mont blanc mountain louis vuitton canada goose jackets cheap oakleys cyber monday sales tods shoes outlet oakley sunglasses moncler jackets ralph lauren uk rayban sunglasses outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton online shop canada goose jackets coach factory online timberland red christian louboutin gucci handbags insanity workout louis vuitton outlet fitflops michael kors uk christian louboutin sale holister clothing store michael kors canada goose outlet timberland outlet burberry outlet ralph lauren outlet black friday ads michael kors outlet online marc jacobs red bottom shoes guess outlet michael kors cheap nfl jerseys polo ralph lauren michael kors outlet cheap jerseys ugg australia christian louboutin sale canada goose ferragamo givenchy jordan concords jordan 4 coach outlet hollister kids adidas shoes oakley sunglasses outlet chanel outlet cheap oakley sunglasses jordan 8 coco chanel tory burch sale timberland uk cheap nfl jerseys red bottoms jordan retro 11 jordan 11 coach factory outlet lv outlet jordan shoes christian louboutin chanel bags burberry handbags canada goose jacket cheap toms abercrombie and fitch louis vuitton toms shoes ugg australia true religion jeans chanel handbags ray ban outlet cheap uggs tory burch outlet jordan 11s jordan 11 low louis vuitton michael kors outlet online ugg boots outlet celine outlet ray ban aviators red timberland boots kevin durant shoes oakley sunglasses wholesale true religion outlet moncler jackets the north face true religion outlet toms outlet replica watches christian louboutin outlet ray ban sunglasses coach outlet gucci shoes ugg outlet rayban sunglass dolce gabbana oakley sunglasses marc jacobs louis vuitton outlet kobe bryant shoes abercrombie and fitch fendi outlet oakley sunglasses cheap burberry handbags tods sale abercrombie jimmy choo outlet polo ralph lauren ugg shoes canada goose outlet ray ban outlet timberlands fitflop shoes toms shoes burberry bags louis vuitton outlet gucci outlet michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet north face black friday burberry scarf white timberland boots chanel outlet online timberland outlet toms promo code chi flat iron adidas outlet hollister jeans prada shoes burberry outlet online timberland outlet polo outlet canada goose outlet uggs australia concords 11 uggs outlet coach factory burberry outlet burberry scarf christian louboutin outlet north face outlet ray bans tory burch outlet canada goose black timberland boots gucci outlet abercrombie store toms shoes bottega veneta outlet versace outlet concord 11 cheap beats bydre coach outlet chanel outlet chanel bags burberry outlet online coach outlet online coach outlet cyber monday sales coach outlet store online christian louboutin outlet coach factory outlet burberry outlet kate spade oakley sunglasses cheap north face jackets air jordan 11 kors outlet cheap jordans ray bans hermes birkin mulberry kate spade outlet hollister clothing abercrombie outlet toms chanel bags michael kors adidas wings christian louboutin outlet canada goose coach outlet store online true religion www.louisvuitton.com louis vuitton holister outlet ralph lauren outlet louis vuitton outlet stors michael kors handbags chanel beats solo burberry bags ray ban sunglasses outlet christian louboutin shoes abercrombie gucci outlet rolex watches outlet michael kors outlet michael kors uk abercrombie outlet lebron james shoes white timberland boots timberland uk canada goose outlet timberland boots retro 11 abercrombie & fitch louis vuitton ray ban wayfarer ralph lauren burberry outlet michael kors outlet online sale alexander wang michael kors cyber monday deals timberland pro michael kors jordan 3 cheap uggs canada goose outlet canada goose jackets jordan 11 columbia burberry scarf ugg boots sale jordan 6 true religion kids oakley sunglasses wholesale louis vuitton burberry sale fitflops outlet burberry scarf tods outlet store holister kids black timberland boots mont blanc pens beats by dr dre true religion louis vuitton outlet tods shoes louis vuitton handbags timberland uk burberry outlet online michael kors handbags coach factory store online oakley outlet jeremy scott adidas tory burch flats lebron james shoes cheap nfl jerseys oakley vault tods outlet burberry outlet abercrombie true religion sale holister timberland earthkeepers hogan shoes canada goose jackets coach factory ugg australia christian louboutin canada goose jackets ray ban wayfarer timberland boots christian louboutin sale chanel handbags oakley sunglasses wholesale louis vuitton handbags louis vuitton black friday beats studio burberry bags polo ralph lauren home
xiaozhengm123 November 17, 2014
In this manner, we confirm that our papers are free from unimaginative. Along these lines, understudies may rely on upon our organizations and understand that they will get the most astonishing quality paper that will score incredible assessments. Please visit this site custom paper
jasnan November 17, 2014
It forced groups like Pathfinder to adopt an organization-wide policy, thereby restricting how they spend their own private funds to do HIV work. sexe video
Name November 17, 2014
Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Magnificent. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your effort. Click here
Leo November 17, 2014
Everyone at Pathfinder also agreed that the pledge violated free speech. While the government can dictate what can be done with its money, the pledge went far beyond that buy facebook friends
Name November 17, 2014
See exactly what effect you end up with using that energy for making a level much bigger considerably better challenge in your enthusiasts Listed here simple and easy lowcost competitions which you could set up to set up your web buy instagram followers mail increase and buy instagram likes list fanatic proposal Graphic challenge buy instagram followers devotees to bring an image utilizing your device If you sell camping gear have them submit a photo for example .
epicbeaver November 17, 2014
'm having a tough time locating it but, I'd like to shoot you an email. I've got some recommendations for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time. check this site
Abigail November 17, 2014
Scroll to top