CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A West Virginia auto dealer has revised a lawsuit challenging the federal health care overhaul's requirement that his employees' coverage include abortion-inducing drugs.
Joe Holland and his South Charleston Chevrolet dealership sued federal officials in June. Holland argues that the coverage mandate violates his religious beliefs.
A hearing on Holland's request for a preliminary injunction was canceled after he learned that the health care plan he offers employees already covers the drugs.
Holland filed an amendment lawsuit last week that dropped the preliminary injunction language.
In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday against several groups, including the Department of Health and Human Services, Holland asks to not be forced to include certain types of birth control in its insurance packages.
It’s a move that comes just days before the dealership would have to start following the Affordable Care Act, which makes birth control like the morning-after pill part of employer sponsored health insurance plans.
Within the lawsuit Holland states his business is rooted in Christian beliefs.
In a Skype interview Tuesday, Jeremy Dys, president and general counsel for The Family Policy Council of West Virginia, who's representing Holland said, “We're asking the federal government to not penalize [Holland] for simply doing business according to his values.”
Pamela Van Horn, a spokesperson for the West Virginia Planned Parenthood, said the health care mandate comes as welcomed news to 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.
Lawyers for Holland tell WSAZ.com the federal mandate fine is $100 per day per employee. Joe Holland employs 150 people -- making the potential for penalties as much as $15,000 per day.
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