A funeral ceremony was held for thousands of fetuses that were improperly stored by an abortion provider from Illinois.

Hoarder keeps fetuses among other debris in his home and office

The doctor responsible for the abortions, named Ulrich Klopfer, was known to be a hoarder, and the fetuses were recovered from boxes, inside of cars, in his garage, and various other locations. He worked in the Chicago metro area, and investigators believe that most of the corpses were from procedures performed ten to twenty years earlier in the early 2000s in Fort Wayne and surrounding cities. 

The doctor’s family contacted law enforcement after his death in September of 2019 when they started to notice the dead fetuses, and investigators recovered approximately 2400 in total. Most of them were in the trunk of one Mercedes Benz vehicle along with rodents and feces, and a stash of about 100 boxes. The Indianapolis Star also reported on the doctor’s situation and his extreme hoarding. Even in his offices, there appeared to be boxes stacked from the floors to the ceilings, along with various other pieces of garbage and debris. His office records were kept among rotten food, empty bottles, and used syringes. Waste bags that were leaking formaldehyde and were strewn about. Much of what was found in his offices had already been exposed to years of water damage. Between his home, offices, and storage units, well over one hundred thousand improperly kept medical records were recovered. 

The local sheriff for Will County said that he had never seen anything like that during all of his years in law enforcement after the search warrants were executed in the offices. A preliminary report issued said that the doctor likely acted alone and no motive was known for his actions.   

The funeral ceremony

The state of Indiana’s Attorney General conducted the ceremony, and he angered many people who are both for and against abortion rights by constantly referring to the corpses as “unborn babies” and commenting about their potential if they had lived. National politicians also got involved in the discussion. Vice President Pence and Democratic presidential hopeful Buttigieg, who have ties to Indiana, both called the situation shocking and disturbing. During a press conference, the Attorney General also stated that law enforcement and health inspectors should be doing a better job of making sure fetuses are disposed of properly and in accordance with health regulations. However, critics believe he made have held the ceremony as a distraction while the state bar is in the process of disciplining him and possibly taking his license to practice law away. 

Indiana’s laws

Indiana is known for having strict abortion laws. The state also requires that all aborted fetuses be buried or cremated after an abortion, so the doctor was committing a crime every time he removed one from Indiana. The doctor’s clinics in Fort Wayne, Gary, and South Bend had all closed between 2014 and 2015 before he died a few years later at age 75. His license to practice medicine was also suspended by the state in 2016 due to poor record-keeping. Due to the condition of the doctor’s offices and home, the parents of the fetuses will likely never be identified. 

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