Judge Reed O’Connor

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor has ruled that requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for PrEP violates employers’ religious rights under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The ruling came in a class action lawsuit filed in March 2020 by John Kelley and Joel Starnes, Kelley Orthodontics and Braidwood Management Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division. The suit targets Truvada and Descovy, two of the medications used to help prevent HIV infection.

Plaintiffs’ attorney is Jonathan Mitchell, former Texas solicitor general and one of the main architects of SB 8 which allows individuals to sue anyone who had an abortion or helped someone else have an abortion.

— Tammye Nash