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CONCORD, New Hampshire (LifeSiteNews) – The Charitable Trusts Unit of the New Hampshire Department of Justice has delayed the release of a report on the merger between a pro-abortion hospital chain and a Catholic hospital for the third time in two months.

The proposed merger between Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and Granite One Health, including Catholic Medical Center of Manchester, would effectively put the former, a hospital chain known to commit abortions, in control of the latter.

The report’s new release date is set for January 17, 2022.

The merger is dependent upon approval by both the Federal Trade Commission and New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella. Formella will make his decision based on the findings of the Charitable Trusts Unit’s report. The report must determine if the merger would allow CMC Manchester and antecedent institutions to be consistent with their intended charitable purpose.

The merger was proposed in 2019 and has been criticized by Catholics in New Hampshire because Dartmouth-Hitchcock aborts babies, dispenses contraceptives, trains doctors to commit abortions, performs sterilizations, and refers resident trainees to Planned Parenthood of New England.

The Friends of Saint Benedict Center (FOSBC), an organization established to defend New Hampshire’s Saint Benedict Center, provided testimony last October in a hearing about the merger. C. J. Doyle, Director of Communications for FOSBC, said in his testimony that Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s “aggressive promotion of practices … irreconcilable with the Catholic morality … render the implementation of formal guarantees for the preservation of Catholic Medical Center’s religious identity profoundly problematic.”

“The combination will present the employees of Catholic Medical Center with an unavoidable and permanent conflict of interest,” Doyle warned.

Commenting on the postponement of the report, Doyle said in a statement, “These repeated postponements indicate that there remain difficult, unresolved issues regarding this transaction, or the parties have not been forthcoming in providing the agency with necessary information, or both.”

“No amount of tinkering can repair a scheme, which from its very inception, was intrinsically unworkable. The Charitable Trust Unit must reject this flawed, problematic proposal,” he concluded.