Pro-life advocates gathered Wednesday to mourn for the lives of 2,411 babies who were aborted and then stored in an Indiana abortionist’s garage with complete disregard for their humanity.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill’s Office organized the memorial service at Southlawn Cemetery and Palmer Funeral Home in South Bend. Many national and local pro-life leaders attended the graveside service. Their burial is marked with a small headstone that reads, “In memory of the 2,411 precious unborn buried here on Feb. 12, 2020.”
In September, authorities found 2,246 medically preserved remains of aborted babies stored in boxes in the former Indiana abortionist’s garage in Illinois. A few weeks later, they found 165 more babies’ remains in a vehicle stored on one of his properties. Klopfer’s family reported finding the remains shortly after he died Sept. 3. Indiana and Illinois authorities have been working together to investigate the gruesome discovery.
Hill’s office announced earlier this year that poor record-keeping and the disintegration of the babies’ bodies made it impossible for each baby to be identified.
Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who attended the service, said the gravestone serves as a reminder that unborn babies are valuable human beings.
“It reminds us … that abortion is not about concepts, abstract debates or simply beliefs,” Pavone said. “It is about real victims, real bloodshed, real bodies. We don’t have funerals for ideas or for things. We have funerals for people.”
Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter also marked the tragic event, saying: “Today’s burial brings closure to the brief and tragic lives of these 2,411 little ones who were denied the opportunity to take their first breaths. They now rest together for all eternity, never to be forgotten.”
Washington Examiner reports the Palmer Funeral Home donated the burial plot.
“I’m so grateful that, finally, the bodies of these little boys and girls will be treated with the dignity they deserved,” Indiana pro-life leader Cathie Humbarger told the Washington Post.
From the beginning, Hill, a pro-life Republican, said he would make sure the babies were given a proper burial.
Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, said the babies, who are believed to be from abortions between 2000 and 2003, would have been teenagers by now.
“Had they not been aborted, the 2,411 children whose tiny bodies will be laid to rest on Wednesday would now be in their late teens,” Scheidler said. “They’d be finishing high school, starting college, entering careers, planning for their futures. Instead, they will be buried, nameless and unknown — the only act of justice we can offer them.”
Scheidler mourned that thousands of unborn babies continue to be aborted every day in America, and “every one of them is a fellow human being” who deserves to live.
Indiana has a law requiring the dignified burial or cremation of aborted babies, but it did not go into effect until recently. Last year, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun introduced the Dignity for Aborted Children Act to extend the cremation/burial requirement to all 50 states.
Right to Life of Michiana Executive Director Jackie Appleman said they plan to hold a memorial service on Feb. 23 as well if people could not attend the Wednesday service. It will be held at 3 p.m. at Southlawn Cemetery. Right to Life Michiana, Right to Life Northeast Indiana and Lake County Right to Life are hosting the service.
“We are grateful but saddened for this opportunity to mourn for the lives lost and the families broken by the violence of abortion,” Appleman said. “This is a tangible reminder of the inhumanity and horror of the abortion industry. Abortion is the ultimate form of dehumanization; it poisons, dismembers, and kills the most innocent among us.”
Klopfer worked as an abortionist for decades in South Bend, Gary and Fort Wayne, Indiana. However, the state revoked his license in 2016 for failing to report the rape of a 13-year-old patient and other health violations.
Authorities believe the babies’ bodies are from abortions performed between 2000 and 2003 in Indiana. Authorities also said they found medical records abandoned among Klopfer’s things.
A doctor who knew Klopfer speculated that he kept the babies’ remains as some sort of gristly trophy.
No one knows why Klopfer kept the aborted babies in his garage. Many of his former patients have been re-traumatized by the discovery, including one woman who said she was forced to abort her unborn child. Now, they will never know if their baby was one of the bodies Klopfer kept.