CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Days before his dealership is
forced to start following Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Joe Holland is
asking a federal district court to exempt his operation from having to
offer certain birth control in his Chevrolet franchise’s insurance
The Charleston, W.Va.-based car dealer claims his business is rooted
in Christian beliefs and opposes the “morning after pill.” Holland’s
attorney Jeremy Dys told WSAZ
in a Skype interview Tuesday that the government’s new healthcare law
would penalize Holland for “simply doing business according to his
Holland isn’t against birth control, Dys added, just ones that are
used after conception. “He has no objections to contraceptions that
don’t take the life of a developing human,” Dys said.
In the lawsuit, filed on June 21 with United States District Court
for the Southern District of West Virginia, Holland is suing various
agencies and individuals who serve the U.S Department of Health and
Human Services, U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of the
Treasury. The complaint claims the defendants have full knowledge that
many organizations and business owners share the same beliefs as Holland
but “have issued regulations imposing the government mandate on such
citizens and organizations and requiring them to provide the
objectionable coverage [the mandate].”
Pamela Van Horn, a spokesperson for the West Virginia Planned
Parenthood, told WSAZ on the phone Tuesday the mandate comes as welcome
news for pro-choice advocates.
“Women should have access to all forms of birth control, whether it
be condoms, the pill, the patch, an IUD or even a high-dose birth
control pill, what we call the ‘morning after pill,’ which does not end
pregnancy but prevents it,” Van Horn said.
The suit references “the possibility of a narrow exemption” for
certain religious employers, including organizations that operate as
churches or employ people who share similar religious believes. The
complaint acknowledges the exception may not extend to the dealership,
but it does point out that the final rule does not impose constraints on
the government’s ability to exempt organizations from certain
The dealership also claims in its suit that the mandate prohibits its rights to the First Amendment.
If Holland refuses to follow the mandate, the dealership could face
steep fines. Holland’s lawyers told WSAZ the fine is $100 per day per
employee. So with 150 employees, Holland could be responsible for up to
$15,000 per day.
— Broc Smith