By Brad Segall

ABINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — After community and staff backlash, Abington Memorial Hospital and Holy Redeemer Hospital have announced they are canceling plans to merge the two facilities.

The proposed merger became a lightning rod for criticism after Abington Hospital said it would no longer provide abortion services, in apparent deference to Holy Redeemer, a Catholic-run hospital.

That decision coalesced community opposition (see related story), and ob-gyn doctors at Abington Hospital said they were opposed to a proposed compromise that would have moved abortion services off campus (another related story).

The two hospitals this afternoon issued a statement that said, “Abington Health and Holy Redeemer Health System have decided to end discussions regarding a potential partnership to create a larger health system. Together we had a bold vision that we believe would have served our community well.  While we are disappointed, we believe this decision is in the best interest of both organizations. Abington Health and Holy Redeemer Health System will continue to seek opportunities to enhance the health of the communities we serve.”

Rita Poley, who created a Facebook page to try to stop the deal, was pleased that the effort paid off.

“I’m overwhelmed with the power of our community to come together and to work together with one voice united for this common goal,” she said today.


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