New York Pro-Life Advocates Protest Groundbreaking of Kingston Abortion Center
by Steven Ertelt
August 19, 2008
Kingston, NY (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates in southeastern New York turned out to oppose the groundbreaking ceremony of a new abortion center built in conjunction with the merged Kingston and Benedictine hospitals. Local officials held the ceremony to begin the construction of the Foxhall Ambulatory Surgery Center.
There, abortions will be done along with some legitimate medical services, but the abortions are enough for pro-life people like Saugerties resident John Sullivan to oppose the new facility.
Sullivan was one of 40-50 people who turned out for a protest and he told the Daily Freeman newspaper that there was nothing to rejoice about at the event.
"This is not a celebration at all," he said. "This is a sad day."
Sullivan could only take comfort in the fact that the abortion center, which was supposed to open by the end of the year, likely won’t begin doing abortions until early 2009.
The Kingston and Benedictine hospitals are completing a merger and the state of New York mandated that an abortion center be included for the merger to be approved.
Michael Kaminski, Kingston Hospital’s chief executive officer, repeated that timetable at the event and said the abortion center would open in February.
The slogan "breaking ground for enhanced heath care" appeared on banners at the event, which State Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, a Democrat, attended, but Jim O’Reilly of Saugerties was another local resident who said health care doesn’t include killing children and hurting women.
"We are here to protest this obscenity," he said.
O’Reilly told the Freeman that local pro-life advocates are hoping to persuade the builder and other workers to boycott the construction project and delay its opening further.
The parent company that will oversee the merged hospitals can’t fulfill its state mandate until the new abortion center is complete. Abortion has been an issue that caused problems in two previous merger attempts because Benedictine, a Catholic facility, does not do abortions while Kingston does.
The total cost of the abortion center is supposed to be around $4.1 million after equipment is purchased, and the newspaper indicated state taxpayers are paying every penny of the cost.
During meetings in 2007 leading up to the approval of the new abortion center, local residents spoke out against it.
Connie Venditti of Ulster Park said he objected to the new abortion center because it will be connected with Kingston Hospital and should be run separately from a legitimate medical center.
"This was supposed to be separate," Venditti said. "This plan shows a connection."
According to the newspaper, the 7,000 square foot abortion center will be behind the hospital and it will be twice the size officials previously said. It will be located in the parking lot behind Kingston Hospital at 396 Broadway.
An enclosed walkway will separate it from the hospital.
ACTION: Contact the Ulster County Planning Board and urge strong opposition to abortion center. Contact officials on the board at: 244 Fair St, Kingston, NY 12401, or call (845) 340-3340 or fax a letter to (845) 340-3429. You can email [email protected] and a list of board officials can be found at https://www.co.ulster.ny.us/planning/about.shtml.
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