Dozens Protest Catholic Hospital’s Relationship With Abortionist

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 5, 2011   |   11:18AM   |   Durango, CO

A Catholic hospital in Durango, Colorado faced protests yesterday from dozens of pro-life advocates upset that Mercy Regional Medical Center associates with abortion practitioner Richard Grossman.

Lila Rose of Live Action led more than 70 people who protested for the second time in two years and carrying signs reading “Shame on Mercy,” and “Richard Grossman is an abortionist.” The peaceful gathering saw pro-life advocates brave the rain to make their message known.

“The fact that Mercy Hospital allows Dr. Grossman, the local Planned Parenthood abortionist, to maintain his private practice on hospital grounds is a scandal and an outrage,” Rose said.“No hospital should promote so-called doctors who make their living off of killing defenseless pre-born children, and a Catholic hospital should know better. Mercy Hospital should immediately sever all ties with Dr. Grossman and evict him from their premises, and if not, the Archdiocese of Denver must intervene to end Mercy Hospital’s cooperation with the abortion industry.”

Daniel Anguis, director of LifeGuard of Durango, a local pro-life group, told the Durango newspaper that Mercy shouldn’t have an affiliation with Grossman.

“For the hospital to claim that they’re a Catholic hospital – they just can’t do that by opening their doors to an abortionist,” Anguis said. “They’re definitely not acting Catholic by allowing an abortionist to be there. I don’t think this would be a conversation or a debate at all if he was a child molester.”

Angus said Grossman is a “population control” advocate who does about 400 abortions annually.

But Mercy spokesman David Bruzzese defended the Catholic hospital in an interview with the Durango Herald newspaper, saying Grossman is not technically employed by Mercy even though he serves on staff at the hospital. Bruzzese said Grossman receives no compensation from the hospital and works for a private abortion center that is not owned or operated by the hospital — though he does have admitting privileges at Mercy to admit patients who may be victimized by botched abortions. The spokesman also said no abortions occur on Mercy grounds.

The Diocese of Pueblo issues a press statement supporting the pro-life protesters and saying Mercy claims to be following the “Ethical and Religious Directives” for Catholic health-care facilities.

“The Diocese of Pueblo shares the goals of all men and women young and old who faithfully stand for life throughout this great country of ours.   Those who have kept a weekly vigil of prayer at Planned Parenthood in Durango are a wonderful example of this faithfulness.  Bishop Isern has accompanied them in prayer on several occasions,” it said.

A deep concern for Life has brought people of good faith together at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango.  It is most unfortunate that a doctor who performs abortions elsewhere also exercises medical privileges in this Catholic hospital,” it continued. “For some time we have been in dialogue with the hospital, and we have been assured that Mercy Regional Medical Center at all times has adhered to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Ethical and Religious Directives for health care facilities by neither offering nor performing abortions in the hospital.”

“We in the Diocese of Pueblo remain firmly committed to the Culture of Life.  This most unfortunate situation at Mercy Regional Medical Center is a clear sign of the absolute necessity of our continuing to advocate in favor of the Culture of Life in our society.  We therefore pledge our continuing efforts and the concrete resources of our Catholic institutions, in conjunction with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other national respect life efforts, in promoting the Culture of Life in the Diocese and elsewhere,” it concluded.

Grossman has also offended pro-life advocates by saying, “The reason I perform abortions is because I’m a Christian”

Mercy Regional Medical Center is a Catholic Hospital located in Durango Colorado and was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1882 and Grossman is its longest-serving physician.