July 2, 2012 — Abortion care will no longer be provided next year at a Montgomery County, Pa., hospital under a proposed merger with a Catholic health system, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Brubaker, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/28).
Officials from Abington Health on Wednesday said that out of respect for the policies of the Holy Redeemer Health System, they will stop providing abortion care when the new health system launches next year.
"Abington Health will continue to provide a full-range of services of women's health and reproductive services except for abortions," Abington Health President and CEO Larry Merlis said. "We wanted [to] assure that we would be able to provide assurances that Holy Redeemer would continue to fully comply with ethical and religious directives -- and all the Catholic entities of our new organization would," Merlis said.
Abortion-rights advocates expressed disappointment about the announcement. "Women seeking abortion in Pennsylvania already have limited options," Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania President and CEO Dayle Steinberg said, adding, "It's unfortunate that a longstanding provider of this critically needed care has chosen to succumb to pressure and is discontinuing these services" (Stamm, NBC 10 Philadelphia, 6/27).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership