CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County businessman is seeking a temporary restraining order against the federal government and the Affordable Care Act.

Longtime South Charleston car dealer Joey Holland claims he shouldn’t be forced to provide controversial emergency contraceptives to his employees under Obamacare. The lawsuit claims his First Amendment rights have been violated.

Family Policy Council of West Virginia’s executive director Jeremy Dys said Holland has a deeply held religious belief against abortion.

“No American should be punished by his or her government for simply living life as a person of faith in public,” Dys said. “The government should never be able to coerce a family owned, faith-based business to violate their religious beliefs.”

Holland has previously said his business is “to glorify and honor God by being faithful stewards for all that is entrusted to us.”

Dys said Holland faces a $100-per-employee daily fine beginning July 1 if he doesn’t agree to pay for drugs like Plan B One-Step, the “morning after” pill. That would equate to $15,000 a day and nearly $5.5 million annually.  

The new terms of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, kick in July 1 for Holland and other business owners. Dys said Holland has budgeted for other increased costs Obamacare will bring but he won’t provide the controversial “abortion inducing drugs.”

Holland isn’t alone. Some 60 similar lawsuits covering about 200 plaintiffs have been filed in other states with approximately 20 courts issuing injunctive relief. Holland is the first West Virginia business owner to file such a suit and the first one in the 4th Circuit.

“He’s steadfast in his refusal. He cannot in good conscience provide drugs that are going to violate his religious beliefs to his employees,” Dys said.

Holland previously exempted coverage of those drugs when he had control over his business’ insurance plan.

“In the past he’s never had any kind of abortion coverage for his employees and he cares deeply about his employees,” Dys said. “He’s saying with this lawsuit that he and every West Virginian should never be punished by their government for simply living their life as a person of faith in public.”

Holland’s lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston Monday by the Family Policy Council, Liberty Institute and Robinson & McElwee, PLLC . He’s seeking a temporary restraining order and ultimately a permanent injunction.


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  • Nellpost

    I am all for businesses being less greedy and providing healthcare options for me.....I also will control my own contraception practice or not. This because after all, I am not a slave to any man/woman/or business. IMO

  • Jan

    We save dogs, cats, bats, whales, but yet we murder unborn children. We have come to an age of not knowing what is right and what is wrong.

  • Michael

    I actually know Mr. Holland, he is a good man! He has never once forced believes upon anyone! He hires people of all races, genders, and sexual orientations! He does not discriminate, but loves his neighbor like The Bible tells us to do! Joey is standing up for the believes that founded this nation! We are all violated when we are forced by the government to do something! You have gone to far Mr. Obama!

  • bill

    Health insurance is for your medical needs but not everything is covered. Most employer health plans have deductibles and co-pays. Not everything is covered and birth control or the morning after bill is just one of the things you have to personally pay for. I would think his employees are being paid a fair wage which includes benefits. He is not paying for these items now and has not in the past, so why should he be made to provide them now. I don’t believe he is holding anyone against their will, so anyone that Is not happy with his pay scale or benefits are free to find another employer that will meet their needs . Accidents happen even in sex but it should not happen every month. It's not that expensive, they are not being told they cannot have the birth control, just that they will have to pay for it. People work to provide for their needs, some things should be your responsibility.

  • Conchop

    Looks like a good time to go with a Canadian or Scandinavian style single payer health care system. They obviously work far better than the American profit based healthcare system. What a shame it is that the last time our healthcare system we measured by the WHO, we were ranked something like 37th.

    We were once number one in the world, but thanks to this dreadful 30 plus year conservative revolution, we've sunk in so many measure that makes a middle class. Healthcare is the American poster child in a failed conservative effort.

    Joey can do whatever he wants for JEEBUS. But, I like the time that he said "give all you have unto the poor". Kind of puts all of us in a position of hypocrisy, eh....

  • S

    How Does it Work?
    The emergency contraceptive/morning-after pill has three modes of action (as does the regular birth control pill); that is, it can work in one of three ways:

    The normal menstrual cycle is altered, delaying ovulation; or
    Ovulation is inhibited, meaning the egg will not be released from the ovary;
    It can irritate the lining of the uterus (endometrium) so as to inhibit implantation.
    Keep in mind that fertilization (the union of female ovum, or egg, and male sperm) occurs in the fallopian tube and that fertilization marks the beginning of a new human life - and the beginning of the pregnancy. The newly created child then travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus (womb) where he or she implants. Implantation is necessary for the new child to receive nourishment from the mother and continue developing. The journey from the fallopian tube to the womb takes between five and seven days during which pregnancy cannot be readily detected.

    Therefore, if a woman ingests emergency contraception after fertilization has taken place, the third mode of action can occur. The lining of the uterus can be altered causing the woman's body to reject the living human embryo, making implantation impossible and the child will die. This result is called a chemical abortion; therefore emergency contraception is an abortifacient.

  • S

    To all of the uneducated fools who think the morning after pill is not considered abortion, you better do your research before spouting off! It is abortion. You Godless people need to open your eyes. Employers should be responsible for healthcare, not pure sin. And, by the way, Mr. Holland is a true man of God. It's not about selling a car, it's about loving and supporting life. I've never bought a car from this dealer, but it sure makes me want to! May God bless this man and his employees.

  • Tina B

    Does he pay 100% of their health insurance premiums?

  • disgusted

    Wait, what about responsibility for your own actions. If you are going to have sex, then YOU need to protect yourself and not depend on anyone to have a health plan for you to do it. I feel that Mr. Holland has the right not to have birth control for his workers.

    • Tina B

      You do not feel birth control is part of health care for women? Do you know how many women need it due to health issues, not pregnancy related? Did you realize you have to be on it to get into the military if you have an irregular period and need the pill to stabilize your monthly cycle?

  • WOW

    A morning after pill isn't about "health care." It's about taking personal responsibility for personal actions. Something I would prefer neither my employer nor my government be involved.

  • Connie

    I think it very funny that you all aganist Mr. Holland can make all these statements against him when clearly know not what you are talking about . I have some news for you when Mr.Obama gets done with you all your gonna wish you had kept your mouth shut. Obama care really kicks in next year and when it does look out! Now he's shutting down the coal business so if you don't think you electric and gas is going to shoot sky high. He's going to have the IRS in charge of making your health care decisions so some of you mouthing off may not make it next year. WOW! What goes around comes around!

  • 2XLPatriot

    If an employer is required to pay for emergency contraception AKA "I screwed up and now I'm pregnant so I'll take a pill to end it" then, why aren't employers required to pay for pain pills, weed or other substances people are "addicted to". Maybe even beer. Since addiction is classified as an illness, it should be covered right? After all it is health care isn't it? Abortion is NOT health care. Preganacy is not a medical condition. It is in fact a natural physiological process and not a terminal illness or chronic medical condition. It also has a cure. Liberals scream and whine like friggin children when you disagree with them and pull out the race and bigot cards when presented with facts they can't dispute. No one is forcing you to worship or even believe in God or the teachings and you will not prevent us from doing what we believe is right according to those teachings. Liberalism; the stupid disease.

  • Mary

    The only way the "morning-after pill" can be assured of not causing abortion is if it is taken exactly according to directions. It has been shown that often - especially in dealing with young girls - it is taken well beyond the recommended time period, so it DOES cause abortions (and also many other possible negative outcomes.)
    Thank-you, Mr. Holland, for standing up in the face of what you must have known would cause a torrent of negative publicity, and holding to your deeply held religious beliefs. May others follow your example, and show that there are still those who will fight against forced immorality, and an over-reaching federal government that does not serve people, but behaves as though it has the power to replace their moral and legal rights with whatever the current administration believes they should be.

  • lora

    I'm so thankful there are people like Joe Holland. I know to some it may appear outlandish but you must understand... according to Mr. Hollands belief as well as others like him (me being one) life begins at conception. I understand if you don't agree with him but what he's doing comes from a moral standpoint. By asking him to support it your asking him to go against his faith. Different insurances offer different benifits. Why should this be any different. My husbands insurance doesn't cover braces yet my sisters insurance does.

  • Doug

    GregG, you're a jerk! You mentioned something about never again purchasing another GM product. Have you ever previously? You sound to me like an entitlement type of guy, gaming the system and who would be thoroughly lost without welfare benefits from the government! I envision you as one who depends on the generosity of others (or takes advantage of them) for your transportation. You liberals are all a bunch of losers!!!

    • GregG

      Well, you just showed your ignorance Doug. Not that it is any of "your business", as of right now I own 4 vehicles, 2 of which are GM products. Actually of the years I have owned a total of 4 GM vehicles. I do not receive welfare nor do I take advantage of others for transportation. Sorry to disappoint you Doug, but I seen where this country was heading during the Ronald anti-union Reagan years so I placed all effort on securing my feature. Although I took a few hits by the hands of a couple of Bush boys, I'm still holding my own and haven't applied for food stamps yet.

      • NorthernWVman

        How many are on cinder blocks in the yard?!

      • mntrbob

        Isn't owning four cars being greedy. You know greed is not reserved to only the wealthy.

        • RamblingMan

          I bet he buys his gasoline rom Exxon too. Typical liberal hypocrit. All talk and no action.

      • GregG

        Actually over the years...........sorry for the typo.