DURANGO, Colorado, July 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a Catholic hospital in Colorado refused to remove a Planned Parenthood abortionist from its ob/gyn staff, pro-life advocates have organized a protest, featuring Live Action President Lila Rose, on Aug. 4.
“The reason I perform abortions is because I’m a Christian,” Richard Grossman, a Quaker, told the Durango Herald after a similar protest outside Mercy Regional Medical Center last year. “Personally, I believe in the strength, intellect and fortitude of women. When a woman says a fetus is a person, I think it is one. I believe the woman empowers the fetus.”
Grossman is the longest-serving physician at the hospital, having served there 44 years, but he also commits abortions on Fridays at Planned Parenthood of Durango. Pro-lifers say he is the only abortionist within a 200-mile radius.
Grossman is also a prominent advocate of population control within the community, through his regular column in the Durango Herald called “Population Matters.” In that column he has opposed the personhood movement, blamed high fertility for poverty in Haiti, and said that the “sort of yelling” he hears from pro-life protestors at the entrance to Planned Parenthood “comes from the old-fashioned era of authoritarian domination.”
“Mercy Hospital allows full privileges to Richard Grossman, who violently kills children every week,” said Daniel Anguis, the executive of the pro-life group LifeGuard, who are organizing the August 4th protest. “There are no circumstances under which it is acceptable to murder a child, and no circumstances under which a Catholic hospital should collaborate with an abortionist.”
On Thursday Lifeguard unveiled a new website and petition to end Grossman’s privileges at the Catholic hospital.
(Find the website and petition here.)
“The scandal of Grossman’s presence at Mercy has angered the local faithful Catholic and Christian community for years, and this petition allows us to peacefully and firmly demand that Grossman lose his privileges at Mercy Hospital,” said Anguis.
The Diocese of Pueblo told Catholic News Agency in June 2010 that they commissioned a canonical investigation into Grossman’s position at the hospital in 2008 and found that the hospital was in “full compliance” with the U.S. Bishops’ medical directives, known as the ‘Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Services’ (ERDs). The diocese also maintained that his service at the hospital was protected under federal anti-discrimination laws prohibiting sanctions against a doctor over his private practice.
Fr. Michael Papesh, the Diocese’s Vicar for Administration, told LifeSiteNews Friday that the hospital “remains in full compliance with the ERDs,” but they are still considering how to handle the situation.
“The situation remains of great concern to the Bishop. It is not only being monitored, but we are exploring various avenues of approach more deeply,” he said.
Fr. Papesh also noted that the hospital “disallows him to offer or perform abortion related services associated with the hospital.”
LifeGuard and other critics have highlighted ERD #45, which says, “Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers.”
“In the end Church leadership has to make a decision,” said Anguis. “What is more damaging - getting sued? or continuing to materially cooperate with a proud Planned Parenthood abortionist?”
“When it comes down to it what makes a church like the Catholic church great is its claim to be the repository of the Truth, not the health of its bank accounts,” wrote Gualberto Garcia Jones of Personhood Colorado in the Denver Independent Examiner in May 2010. “In an age when the Catholic church is sued on an almost daily basis, wouldn’t it be refreshing if the church were sued for preventing child killing at its hospitals instead of for allowing children to be molested?”
Most Reverend Fernando Isern, D.D.
Bishop of Pueblo
101 North Greenwood Street
Pueblo, CO 81003-3164
Phone: (719) 544-9861 ext. 122
Mercy Regional Medical Center
1010 Three Springs Blvd.
Durango, CO 81301
Toll free: 1-800-345-2516