AIDS charity fights U.S. government to keep prostitution legal

.- The Washington-based charity group, DTK International has filed a lawsuit with the U.S. government over a policy that non-government run, international aid organizations who seek governments funds for HIV prevention and family planning services must oppose prostitution, calling the policy “unconstitutional.” The claim was filed with the U.S. Agency for International Development on August 11th, saying that the anti-prostitution policy prohibits freedom of speech.

Originally enacted in 2003, the law which requires groups to oppose prostitution and sex trafficking, has only begun to be enforced recently, and has been strongly supported by the Bush administration.

DKT, a non-profit, teaches family planning--most of which involves artificial contraception and abortion--and HIV/AIDS prevention in 11 countries, mainly in the Third World.

The group utilizes commercial marketing techniques to further their aims and strives to make contraceptives more widely available through the private sector. They claim on their website that 5.16 million so-called “unwanted pregnancies” have been avoided with their help.

In its lawsuit, the group argued that, "DKT has no policy on prostitution and does not wish to adopt one…It believes it has a first amendment right not to do so."

DKT stressed that it wants to achieve its goals "by maintaining neutrality on the controversial question of how to handle the complex problems that arise at the intersection of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and prostitution."

DKT's president, Philip Harvey, was quoted saying, "The government can tell us what to do with their money—that is not in question…But it is reprehensible and, we believe, unconstitutional to tell us what to do with private money."

Not only does the Catholic Church fundamentally oppose the group’s promotion of artificial contraceptives and abortions to deal with “unwanted pregnancies”, but they believe prostitution to be a frontal assault on the dignity of the human person.

Even those groups who oppose the Catholic Church’s views on contraception to fight the scourge of AIDS, largely agree that prostitution and sex trafficking should be illegal and in fact, greatly contribute to the spread of the disease.

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