INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) — Indiana’s attorney general said Monday he will work with his Illinois counterpart to investigate the 2,246 medically preserved fetal remains found in the Illinois home of a former Indiana abortion doctor.
Dr. Ulrich Klopfer died Sept. 3. The Wills County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office on Thursday got a call from an attorney for the doctor’s family, who found the remains while sifting through his Illinois home about 45 miles outside Chicago. The sheriff’s office revealed the information Friday.
Klopfer used to perform abortions in South Bend, Gary and Fort Wayne. State records show his license had been suspended, then expired in 2017.
A group of Republicans spoke about the incident Monday before Attorney General Curtis Hill announced he would work with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul in investigating.
State Rep. Ron Bacon, a southern Indiana Republican from Chandler, said, “My concern is what happened there and are there … if he’s had over 2,000 remains in his home … are there remains at the clinics where he was practicing that we don’t know about.”
“This is almost like something out of a shop of horrors where he kept these over 2,000 remains,” said State Rep. Denny Zent, a Republican from Angola in northern Indiana. “We in the legislature recently passed some legislation that at least made them take care of the remains of aborted babies. Now, to put them in glass jars or something, it’s just beyond belief.”
Authorities have not revealed how the remains were preserved.
State Rep. Christy Stutzman, a Republican from Goshen in northern Indiana, said Monday, “It’s very upsetting. It was a gruesome discovery. There’s no reason for this to have happened in the first place.”
Stutzman, who was a member of the Indiana Right to Life State Board in 2018, said she hopes this never happens again.
“I think we need more clarity on the proper protocol for any type of medical clinic, but especially this clinic,” Stutzman said. “It’s going to affect a lot of lives and also how laws are enforced in our state.”
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statement saying he was “deeply disturbed” by the discovery of the fetal remains and that he supports “calls for a federal investigation.”
“The grisly discovery of these fetal remains at the Illinois home of a deceased abortion doctor shocks the conscience. Further, we have reason to believe there is an Indiana connection to these remains.”
“This past weekend, I conferred with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, and he and I have agreed to work together as my office coordinates an investigation.”Attorney General Curtis Hill
“On Friday, September 13, I was horrified to learn of reports that police had recovered 2,246 fetal remains from the property of Dr. Ulric Klopfer.
“This gruesome news underscores that abortion is not an issue in theory, it is an issue of life and death for unborn baby girls and boys. To think of these children being preserved, for whatever purposes, is simply sickening.
“This discovery opens a flood of questions that must be answered.
“Why were these babies preserved?
“When and where did these babies die?
“Did the mothers of these babies know their remains were going to be preserved?
“Are there other properties owned by Dr, Klopfer where fetal remains may still be found?
“Were these babies being preserved in order to be sold to universities or research facilities?
“Are there staff members of Dr. Klopfer’s operations complicit in the preserving and transportation of these remains?
“Are there other Indiana abortion doctors doing the exact same thing, even today as we speak?
“How do we make sure this never happens again in Indiana?
“These are just a few of the questions we are raising, and each of them deserves an answer.In the days ahead, Indiana Right to Life will call upon state and federal officials to launch detailed investigations into the discovery of 2,246 fetal remains on the property of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, and to take the actions needed as a result of the investigations.
“We cannot just shake our heads at the horror of this discovery, and then walk away. The time for investigation is now.”Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter
“We need to determine how Dr. Klopfer was able to get away with this for so long, and how we only know about it now that Dr. Klopfer is deceased. We also need to know how many people working at the Women’s Pavilion (in South Bend) were aware of Dr. Klopfer’s crimes. I also hope we learn if any of those same staff now work at the Whole Women’s Health clinic in South Bend, and how closely those two organizations are tied.”U.S. Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican