KINGSTON, NY, October 30, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Faithful Catholics are concerned that abortion may be offered on the campus of Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, New York after it merges with another health care facility.

HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley has owned both Kingston Hospital and Benedictine Hospital since a 2008 merger. Benedictine is currently co-owned by Catholic nuns. 

Because of financial concerns, the health care group will close Kingston Hospital and merge the two facilities into one new, secular facility on the grounds of the Catholic hospital.

Abortions were performed at a center on the grounds of Kingston Hospital until the abortionist retired last year. There is currently no abortionist in Ulster County, New York.

But pro-life activists worry that when that changes the procedure will take place inside the walls of a facility that served as a Catholic hospital since 1901.

According to an article in the Daily Freeman, “HealthAlliance offiicials have said that the New York state Health Department has indicated that a full range of reproductive services, including abortions, must be offered at the surviving hospital.”

The Ad-Hoc Committee to Preserve Hospital Care in Kingston, a group that is concerned about the possibility of abortions taking place in a Catholic hospital, wrote a letter last week asking for a meeting with the state Health Department to keep the Kingston facility open and instead close Benedictine.

Johanna Jankowski, a Port Ulster resident, had previously written a letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan asking, “How can they turn the Benedictine Hospital into a ‘killing field’? What can we do to change this?”

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“I wish I could provide more assurances on preventing those proscribed services from taking place at what will be the former Benedictine Hospital campus,” Dolan replied.

He noted the merger, which took place under Cardinal Egan, required that no abortion would be offered at Benedictine. However, he could not say what would happen after the institution loses its Catholic identity.

“We hope that there would not be any [abortions] at all in Kingston, but certainly we wouldn’t want any here in a hospital that has sacred grounds,” said Joseph DeFino, another pro-life activist in the region.