September 8, 2022—This week, a United States District Court judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that health insurance plans cover pre-exposure prophylaxis (“PrEP”) violates the religious rights of employers.
PrEP is a life-saving medication that blocks HIV from replicating in the body. It is a highly effective approach to prevent HIV transmission that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2012 and has been recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2014 as a treatment for people at high risk of HIV infection. Fenway Health researchers were part of a global team who developed PrEP as an HIV prevention tool, and our providers prescribe PrEP to everyone who needs and wants it.
This ruling comes just months after the U.S. Supreme Court found that there is no Constitutional right to abortion, effectively making this medical procedure out of reach for millions. Only 11 states in the country currently have laws that protect the right to abortion. In March, Arizona became the latest state to block access to gender-affirming health care for transgender and gender diverse children and adolescents. Numerous other state legislatures are considering similar bans.
These legal and legislative barriers to medically necessary care harm the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. These laws disproportionately impact people who are BIPOC, cisgender women, and/or people who receive their health care through Medicaid.
Fenway Health was founded on the principle that health care is a right, not a privilege. We are as committed to that core belief now as we were when we were founded over fifty years ago. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that the people who count on us – and people everywhere – have access to the health care they need.