A US judge on Wednesday ruled in favor of Christian employers who refused, for religious reasons, to provide their employees with health insurance providing reimbursement for AIDS prevention drugs. Reed O’Connor, the magistrate in question who sits in Texas, is known to have made several decisions hostile to the great “Obamacare” law on medical insurance.
PrEP, for “pre-exposure prophylaxis”, is routinely recommended for men who have sex with men, heterosexuals with risky behaviors and people who use syringes for drugs. While this drug is 99% effective, only 23% of people who could benefit from it were using it in 2019.
“Accomplices of homosexual behavior”
The law put in place under the presidency of Barack Obama requires private insurers to reimburse certain preventive treatments and leaves it up to the health authorities to define which ones. These included in 2020 the drugs PrEP, tablets that prevent the transmission of HIV and are particularly recommended for gay men.
Several people and two Christian companies then took legal action to challenge the coverage of these drugs in the name of their religious beliefs. They believe that this “makes them complicit in homosexual behavior”, recalled Judge O’Connor, who considers the obligation to reimburse these pills a violation of the federal law on religious freedoms.
Pure and simple homophobia according to Nancy Pelosi
The government reacted in the evening by saying that the decision would be “examined”. The Biden administration “is dedicated to protecting Americans’ access to free preventive care,” said White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre on Twitter.
The judgment was also strongly criticized by Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader of the House of Representatives. “This disturbing decision is openly homophobic,” she said in a statement, linking this decision to that of the Supreme Court to revoke the right to abortion in the United States.