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Montco Residents Fight Abington Hospital Takeover, Citing Sectarianism

By Brad Segall

ABINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — The community is hoping to turn up the heat on Abington Hospital, following word that the secular medical facility plans to stop performing abortions after it merges with Holy Redeemer Health System.

Just days after the partnership was announced, a Facebook page went up and quickly started attracting a lot of attention. Rita Poley is behind the “Stop the Abington Hospital Merger” post, which she says has given members of the community a chance to vent about Abington’s decision.

She says Abington Hospital’s promise to continue other reproductive health care doesn’t go far enough.

“This is not just about a ‘convenient form of birth control,’ ” she says, using a phrase of abortion critics.  “There are serious reasons why a woman may need an abortion, such as a Tay-Sachs (disease) pregnancy and others.”

She says there’s also concern about end-of-life issues and the possibility that Catholic convictions will alter those choices at Abington.

She says doctors at Abington were blindsided by the announcement and didn’t get a say. The two Montgomery County hospitals say they are partnering to develop innovative methods of care.

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