Dr. Richard Grossman earns his living delivering babies at the Catholic hospital Mercy Regional Medical Center (MRMC). But one day a week, he is paid to kill them at the Durango Planned Parenthood.
The abortionist’s work at a Catholic hospital has elicited outrage from local pro-lifers since at least 2007.
Michaela Dasteel, past director of the local pro-life organization LifeGuard, has written that a “Church that tolerates abortionists on staff in its hospitals is not a prophetic Church. It is a Church checkmated by the culture of death.”
LifeGuard says they have contacted the board of MRMC, which reportedly maintained that as long as Dr. Grossman abides by hospital rules, he has the right to work there. LifeSiteNews.com’s repeated attempts to reach MRMC for comment have not been answered as of press time.
Dasteel has pointed out that, in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, directive 45 states that “Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation.” Material cooperation is a term used in moral theology to indicate when one helps a person do a wrong act, although the help is not itself wrong.
The directive goes on to say that, “in this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers.”
Gualberto Jones, director of Personhood Colorado, spelled out such a link in a recent article. “Dr. Grossman would not be able to financially maintain himself on what he earns killing children one day a week,” he writes. “Does this not make Mercy Hospital in Durango and the Catholic Church a material facilitator to the killing?”
Some say that the hospital fears the consequences of firing Dr. Grossman: U.S. code says that an organization that discriminates against someone for performing sterilizations or abortions would be barred from federal funding.
But many insist that one cannot weigh lives against lucre: as Gualberto Jones states, “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.”
The scandal is heightened by the prominence of the abortionist. Dr. Grossman is well-known in the local community: he is vice-president of Durango Nature Studies, a member of the Durango Choral society, on the board of advisers for the World Population Balance organization, and outlines his population-control ideology in a running column called “Population Matters” in the Durango Herald.
In it, he opposes the personhood movement, blames high fertility for poverty in Haiti, and says 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.”
“He has ideologies that lead him to believe that he’s helping the world,” Dan Anguis of LifeGuard told LSN. “He’s very big on overpopulation.”
According to Michaela Dasteel, Dr. Grossman has even travelled to India to teach about abortion. She has also heard that when Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) acquired MRMC, he was angry because he had to stop performing sterilizations.
“He’s doing this to limit population, that’s what’s motivating him,” she said.
The Catholic Health Initiatives organization, of which Mercy Regional Medical Center is a part, claims to be the nation’s third-largest Catholic Health care system. But CHI has a dubious role in this case. It supported cloture on the abortion-funding health care in the Senate on December 21, 2009.
Attempts to contact Bishop Fernando Isern of the Pueblo diocese were unanswered as of press time.
Contact information for Mercy Regional Medical Center:
1010 Three Springs Blvd.
Durango, CO 81301
Toll free: 1-800-345-2516