The Corner

Law & the Courts

Burying 2,411 Human Beings


Yesterday in South Bend, Ind., the state interred the remains of 2,411 fetuses whose bodies were found in the Illinois home of former abortionist Ulrich George Klopfer after he died last fall.

“Today, we finally memorialize the 2,411 unborn babies whose remains were senselessly hoarded by Dr. Ulrich Klopfer after he performed the abortions from 2000 to 2003,” said Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill at the gravesite in Southlawn Cemetery. “These babies deserved better than a cold, dark garage or the trunk of a car.”

Klopfer had performed abortions for nearly four decades in northern Indiana, primarily in South Bend, Ind., but also in nearby Fort Wayne and Gary. In 2016, his medical license was suspended after he was found to have broken laws requiring proper abortion reporting and record-keeping, as well as health-and-safety standards for abortion procedures. Though local lawmakers called him the most prolific abortionist in Indiana, people outside the region didn’t know his name until these remains were uncovered.

Despite the fact that the attorneys general in both Illinois and Indiana announced that they would conduct a joint investigation to ascertain why Klopfer had improperly saved these fetal remains — and whether he had stored any others at his former clinics — they have yet to report any clarifying information.

“In terms of the ‘why’ . . . we may never know,” Hill said at the cemetery on Wednesday. “The best evidence of the ‘why’ certainly died with Dr. Klopfer in September. . . . There’s no answer for that, and I don’t know that we ever will get an answer for that.”

Though finding out the “why” would be useful, it isn’t the most important aspect of this grisly case. Klopfer, unlike most abortionists, violated the standards we have erected around abortion. Legal, socially acceptable abortion ends not in the trunk of the abortionist’s car but with fetuses in the hazardous waste, carried away to an unknown fate.

What we should remember about Klopfer and his ghastly trophies is not that he was a hideous outlier in the abortion industry, though in the most concrete sense he was. What we should remember is that every abortion destroys not a parasite or a clump of cells but a human life. These 2,411 fetuses buried in Indiana are a stark reminder of what happens in an abortion, a reality most of us prefer to forget.


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