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Businessman sues government over contraception mandate

HASTINGS - A Hastings business owner filed a federal lawsuit this week against the government, saying portions of the Affordable Care Act violate his religious beliefs.

Doug Erickson, who owns the Hastings Ford and Hastings Chrysler car dealerships, said the government is asking him to fund morning-after pills as part of the ACA. Since Erickson believes that life begins at conception and those pills make a uterus inhospitable to human life, he can’t support them, he said.

The lawsuit was prepared by the Liberty Institute, which is based in Dallas. The suit seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction to stop this portion of the act from being mandatory.

The drugs Plan B and ella are among the pills that Erickson is against funding. If he doesn’t fund them, Erickson could be fined $100 per employee per day until he does, said Jeremiah Dys, a lawyer with the Liberty Institute.

A similar case, filed by Hobby Lobby, is moving through the U.S. Supreme Court.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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