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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  • David

    Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy. It doesn't induce abortion. Anyone saying otherwise is uninformed and/or is trying to spin an anti-science, anti-healthcare agenda.
    If a person's religion is anti-birth control, then that person shouldn't use birth control - but that person shouldn't prevent others from receiving health care.

    • Bobby M.

      I'm sorry friend but you need to open your eyes! That's like saying - this tank doesn't kill people it just ends their life. Play with names all you want but the end result is the same - GOD said - here's a child and emergency "abortion" is saying - no thanks! Call it whatever you want but its "killing".

    • Woody

      The most intelligent comment on this story. We are certainly not talking about abortion. And a woman should not have to decide which place she works because of their health care decisions.

  • Maggie

    The USA is in bad shape ,.Prayers for our government and country.

  • Bobby M.

    Wow! Librals in office only know one thing - how to scew everything up! Obamacare is a scham! I want my health ins company between me and the doc - not the goverment! Why even mess with health care? If the car aint broken, don't try to fix it you fools!

    • al

      Now folks, Bobby M. sure makes a lot of sense here, doesn't he? First, I think Mr. Bush did a pretty good job of screwing everything up. Second, would you really trust an insurance company more than the government? And if you don't think the car was broken before, you are a better republican than I have ever seen. Obviously you know nothing about the healthcare system if you think it wasn't broke. And, before you say it, I AM NOT an Obama fan, but I do have a little knowledge and common sense.

      • Jephre

        Trust an insurance company more than the government? Absolutely, 100%, case closed.

        • al

          then you, my friend are foolish.

          • Bobby M.

            If loving FREEDOM is foolish then so be it! I'd rather be a fool that's free than a sociolist puppet!

      • Bobby M.

        Well guess what buddy? I stand for freedom! I don't want to live in a sociolist country! I don't want the gov giving hand outs to poor lazy bums with no incentive to work. I also don't want to be put on a gov waiting list to see a doctor! Maybe you should move to Russia!

  • GregG

    Without a doubt this is the greatest marketing ploy I have ever seen used!! A car dealer in WV that's screaming anti President, anti healthcare, throws in some religion and anti abortion............gee talk about sitting back and watching the profits roll in!!! If he would have also used the anti gay card he would well be on his way to being the only dealership in WV. I can't wait to see General Motors take on Mr. Joe Holier than thou Holland's actions. If they support him, I know that I will never purchase another GM product.

    • S

      You must work for Ford LOL. Why are you so worried about him? The man has a right to refuse to support the killing of innocent babies. You need to do a little research buddy. No one should be forced to pay for something that can be prevented. It is KILLING, plain and simple.

    • al

      You are exactly right. This is just a ploy to get good ol boys and girls to come buy from him.

      • Regina

        If you ignorant self-centered people only knew who and what your talking. If he was after SALES, why did he close his business on SUNDAYS AND HIS BUSINESS TRIPLED. They pursicuted JESUS, when JESUS RETURNS FOR HIS BRIDE AND EVERY KNEE BOWS BEFORE HIM YOU WILL FIND OUT WHO IS RIGHT.

        • GregG

          I know another business that is closed on Sundays. And they, just like Mr. Holland were in the news not to long ago playing their "religion card". It was a great marketing ploy for them also. People flooded the place to show their support. Seems to be a great profit in holding the bible over ones head while preaching hate and intolerance these days. And I'm sure Mr. Holland will also reap the rewards.

        • Mike

          I know Jesus, and Joe H "ain't" no Jesus!

  • Disgusted

    I am saddened that someone whom I once patronized is no longer running a business I can support. It is disgusting to watch people throw around religious arguments to try to justify not wanting to take care of their own responsibility like paying for health care for their employees. The one step pill is not "an abortion inducing drug." It does not kill or flush out an already established fetus, as does an actual abortion. The only thing the one step pill does is prevent an egg from attaching to the uterus, something a woman's body does on its own MOST OF THE TIME. If you define that as an "abortion," you are saying that every woman who has ever had sex has had multiple abortions. So please consider learning something about what you protest before opening your mouth and proving your ignorance.

    • 2XLPatriot

      Actually, when a woman miscarries, it's termed as a "Spontaneous abortion." Miscarriage is a "nicer term" when the emotions are high. Miscarriages occur naturally when there is something at what ever level, wrong with the egg or fetus that would ultimately cause demise. Taking something that prevents the egg attaching to the uterine wall is in fact an induced abortion. Therefore, the morning after pill is in fact an abortion. Medical knowledge and experience is a plus when one is trying to argue their own interpretations to fit their agendas.

    • NorthernWVman

      truly where does the responsibility fall???? Does it fall on an employer that is already providing great benefits or does it fall on the employee that has sex and becomes pregnant???

    • Regina

      If a woman doesn't want to get pregnant than don't have sex. If you do have sex, be mature and RESPONSIBLE enough to prevent it in the first place.

      • Tina B

        Regina, that is what CONTRACEPTIVES do -- they will PREVENT pregnancies. He is trying to stop access to contraceptives.

    • Protechcpa

      A business owner has only one "responsibility" and that is to earn a return on his own investment. His only obligation to employees is a fair WAGE for work performed. He took all the risk and now he becomes the target. This is not a communist state. Yet.

      • Tina B

        He filed a frivolous lawsuit. I thought people like him were against such things?

    • Habib Haddad

      Thank you for your thoughtful response. There is nothing worse than a charlatan using our Lord for personal gain. Car dealers and insurance agents and rump preachers. Sheeesh!

    • mountaineerforever

      Thank You, disgusted, for finally interjecting some sanity into this otherwise inane debate! For crying out loud, the day after pill is not an abortion. How does the anti birth control coalition feel about exploding welfare numbers?

      • Charleston,WV

        Brother Mountaineerforever:
        I have news for you. Having access to birth control is not going to stop some individual of a 133% poverty level from having sex and the unintended consequences of conceiving a child. Especially when they will draw more benefits (ie government assistance) for every additional child.

  • Anthony

    Ever notice how Obamacare was passed in 2010 and never went into effect until 2013 and wasn't mentioned at all during campaign 2012? Now he doesn't care, nothing more dangerous than a politician who is not running or can't run again.

  • Chaz

    @ShinnstonGuy Actually Joey supports his employees more than any other dealership(and most businesses period for that matter) in this area. He's a great guy to work for. I like how you pull the racist card though, it saves me from having to point out that you have no legitimate argument. Oh and he doesn't sell Prius's anyway so you can't really boycott somebody you weren't going to buy from anyway. Thanks for the laugh though buddy.

  • george

    By the way-Its illegal for a mother to kill her child after it is born///// why is it not illegal to kill the child before it is born.......sick of all this immorality......Im glad the Mother Mary didn't decide to abort Jesus.....we would have all been in trouble.....................................

  • steve

    cant find anyone who will admit they voted for Obama...................Its gonna get worse..........................

  • ShinnstonGuy

    It's a slippery slope when people resort to these tactics. What's next? Is Mr. Holland going to say he shouldn't have to hire employees because they are African American or women? I would mention gays but in WV you can already fire someone for being gay so that doesn't work in this case. Mr. Holland can have his beliefs and I can have mine, but I won't be supporting his business if he can't support his employees.

    • Regina

      Race or gender has nothing to do with MURDER OF UNBORN BABIES. IF THERE'S A HEARTBEAT THERE'S LIFE. And apparently you know nothing of his business because he has women and various ethnic nationalities working for him.

      • Tina B

        Contraceptives PREVENT unwanted pregnancies.

        Does he pay all of the health premiums for his employees? Do his female employees pay premiums as well?

    • wvrefugee

      I wonder if Mr. Holland is affiliated with a church and wants to claim tax exemption as well! Total BS!

    • al

      Medical insurance coverage is supporting his employees. Providing for their abortions is not. That should be their responsibility.

  • Joe

    Sorry, meant to type "p-u-b-l-i-c".

  • Joe

    I think the word you're looking for in the 4th paragraph is "p-u-b-i-c".


  • steve

    Thank you Mr Holland for this testimony of your faith and execution of your beliefs.

    • BigDave


    • GregG

      I guess we will have to wait an see how GM feels about Mr. Holland's testimony of his faith and execution of his beliefs. I sent corporate a link to this story for their reading pleasure.

      • GregG

        Oh, that's right, GM only accepted the bailout tax dollars of the church. No, wait a minute the church is TAX EXEMPT. Ok, GM only accepted the tax dollars of fine upstanding Christians to aid in their bailout. As I said....can't wait to hear GM's take on this one. I would love to see Mr. Holland have his dealership jerked right out from under his......... He is your typical hypocrite, doesn't want someone (government) imposing on his beliefs, yet he wants to force "his religious beliefs" on his employees and customers.

        • Regina

          Mr. Holland does Not force his faith on anyone including his employees. If you don't know him PERSONALLY button your mouth until you do. Be cafeful about speaking against a man of God. I pray God turn your thinking around.

          • GregG

            Thank you for pointing that out wvu82, I had forgotten Mr. Holland had his hand it that also.

          • wvu82

            Mr. Holland forced his views on the young students at GWHS when he paid to bring that nut-job speaker there.

        • DWM

          Perfect Greg, because of your liberal beliefs you've missed the point, completely. It is not the government's business, it is not the public's business, it is Joey's Holland's business and he should be able to do exactly with it what he wants. When Obama says to business people you didn't get there on your own, what he is really saying is "you don't own your business, I do and I'll take it when I want it and until that time when I decide I want it, I most certainly will be telling you how to run it"! And I'm sure you would agree with him.

          • Z

            I'd encourage you all to read the Constitution, because that is what the cause of action is based on. Not on what your ideas of what the government can or cant do. There is protection for religious freedom in the Constitution. That has nothing to do with the EPA or most business regulations.

          • al

            It is you who is the idiot, Ragweed. You think government should never be involved except for when you need something. No, government is far from perfect, but you should stop and think about all the things in your life where government is very much needed. Of course, "good republicans" like yourself would never be honest enough to admit that though. So, I guess it is pointless even discussing it.

          • Ragweed

            This is for Al - you're an idiot!!! It is the intrusion of government where it doesn't belong that is killing this country. Yes, we need legitimate and reasonable laws, but the liberals, apparently like yourself, want nothing but government intrusion into everything - and that is killing this country.

          • GregG

            No, I didn't miss the "point". I don't care if it is Little Joey or the strip bar a few miles down the road...........a business has many rules and regulations that it must follow. City, county, state and federal all place rules and regulations on a business. The point is, Joey wants to play the religious card.

          • al

            Well I disagree with you also. The government tells all businesses what they can and can't do, as it should be. People knock the EPA all the time. You should first think about if it were not for the EPA, you wouldn't be able to see 50 ft because I promise you AEP and the likes wouldn't do anything to keep the air clean. My point is that the truth never lies on the far right or the far left. It is always in the middle. There are and should be thousands of regulations on companies to control what they can and can't do. That's the problem with people on the right. They say they don't want the government telling anyone this or that. They don't stop to think what it would be like if there were no laws or restrictions on business.

        • Brian

          He is not trying to impose his beliefs. He doesn't want to pay for something that he strongly disagrees with. The employees are still free to seek such care on their own dime.

          • al

            It should be on their own dime anyway. There is no way any insurance provider, business owner, or anyone else should have to pay because someone goes out, gets knocked up, and then doesn't want the child.

  • Pruntytown

    ending coal

  • Pruntytown

    Obamacare? Ahead of todays announcement by the President lilling coal once and for all, where is Manchin, Rocky, or any of the Congressman? Today is the end of WV as we know it.

    • wvrefugee

      Thank God for that!!! Now maybe we can move forward into the 21st century!!!!

      • Charleston,WV

        So Wvrefugee: If WV is ended as we know it, where will you go then?