KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Randy Reed Automotive was granted a preliminary injunction this past week by a Missouri judge that allows the two-rooftop dealer group to exclude insurance coverage of the ‘morning-after pill’ in the company’s insurance plan. The dealer filed a federal lawsuit back in October challenging provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring employees provide contraceptive coverage.

With the federal judge’s ruling, a final decision will be made by the U.S. Supreme Court. There are similar cases ahead of Reed’s, such as the suit filed by retailer Hobby Lobby that will be heard in March and is expected to be ruled on in late June.

While Reed admits he is not fond of “Obamacare” in general, citing premium increases, nothing else aside from the contraception section caused him to question the legality of the healthcare plan. He clarified he is not opposed to providing contraceptive coverage, but he takes issue with the coverage of “the morning after abortion pill,” as he refers to it.

“That’s the part from a morality standpoint I don’t feel like I can go along with, so that’s what prompted me to take the action that I did,” Reed said. “The science I would buy into would say it’s a fertilized egg, and it’s a late-term abortion morning after pill.”

Reed’s operation employs 175 workers, and he points out that employees are not prohibited from purchasing the pill on their own. “I’m pro-life, and I don’t want to be a participant in paying for any kind of an abortion,” he explained.

While Reed did not individually survey his employees on the topic, he says “everything I’ve heard is in support of this and ‘we’re proud to work here, because we’re doing that.’” The store also received support from the community in the form of voicemails, e-mails and people stopping in the showroom.

The question of whether to offer employees ‘emergency contraception’ is not new for Reed. He said that every time he renews his insurance plan, he takes time to make sure this is not offered under the plan. “It’s the first time we’ve found ourselves in a situation where, in order to be legal, you had to violate a moral belief.”

He was also sure to note that he did not seek publicity on this matter. Local news stations picked up the story once the injunction was granted. “We did not go out and seek out any publicity for it,” he said. “We were just doing what we felt like was right."

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Stephanie Forshee

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