(TMU) — The death of an Illinois abortion doctor has led to a macabre discovery by police: the medically preserved remains of over 2,200 fetuses at his home.
Ulrich Goerge Klopfer died on September 3 at the age of 74, according to WNDU.
On September 12 an attorney representing Klopfer’s family alerted the Will County Coroner’s Office that the family had made the grim find while sorting through the deceased doctor’s personal property.
In a press release, the local sheriff’s office said:
“Will County Sheriff’s Detectives, Crime Scene Investigators and representatives from the Will County Coroner’s Office arrived at an address in unincorporated Will County. Personnel were directed to an area of the property where 2,246 medically preserved fetal remains were located. The Will County Coroner’s Office took possession of the remains.”
Authorities note that they have no evidence that medical procedures were carried out at the property where the remains were found, and family members are fully cooperating with the investigation.
Klopfer operated an abortion clinic in South Bend, Indiana, as well as clinics in Fort Wayne and Gary. In 2015, the Indiana Medical Licensing Board voted to revoke his license. The doctor was twice accused of performing abortions on minors, including a girl who was raped by her uncle, without submitting records to the Indiana State Department of Health.
Under Indiana state law, abortion is generally allowed, but various statutory obstacles including strict facility codes, waiting periods, and standard consent requirements can make it difficult for some women to terminate their pregnancy. For unemancipated minors under the age of 18, abortion requires the consent of a parent or legal guardian.
“In many places, the right to abortion exists on paper, but the ability to access it is almost impossible,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Women’s Health. “We see people’s access to care depend on their ZIP code.” https://t.co/npmkPycjx0
— Whole Woman's Health (@WholeWomans) September 14, 2019
In a statement Saturday, Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski seized on the case to further push her anti-abortion agenda. The representative said:
“Every human life is precious, and every woman and baby deserves care and respect. This tragic case shows why abortion providers must be held to strict guidelines and face rigorous oversight. I will be looking into federal legislation to ensure the remains of aborted babies are always treated with dignity, including in the case of chemical abortions.”
Walorski has been a particularly vocal opponent of a woman’s right to access reproductive health facilities including abortion clinics, and has urged the state health department to deny the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance application to open a clinic in South Bend. This summer, a federal judge ruled the clinic could open despite being denied a state license, according to the congresswoman’s website.
Under the Trump administration, healthcare providers such as Planned Parenthood and other clinics have been blocked from receiving federal planning grants. Last month, Planned Parenthood withdrew from a federal grant program worth about $60 million dollars so that it could continue providing abortion referrals and care.
Anti-abortion policies have not only affected women’s already-tenuous ability to access abortion facilities but have also adversely impacted men and women’s ability to access birth control and sexually transmitted infection tests. The erosion of reproductive health services in the U.S. comes amid rising rates of STIs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
The Klopfer case is already generating waves on social media among anti-abortion activists who believe the discovery at his home is reflective of the ongoing “infanticide” allegedly being committed against unwanted human embryos.
Also in a statement, the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance said:
“All of us at Whole Woman’s Health Alliance are shocked by yesterday’s news. We join the community seeking more information and awaiting the results of the investigation…Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend is proud to serve the community with high-quality abortion care services that respect the dignity of women and families. We adhere to the highest healthcare standards and we treat our patients with compassion and respect when they need it most.”
The state attorney general’s office believes that Klopfer performed 2,405 abortions between January 2012 and November 2013. According to Heavy, Klopfer had performed 30,000 abortions since 1974.
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