Statement on discovery of remains of over 2,000 unborn children

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I join my voice to the many people who have expressed their horror and disgust at the discovery of 2,246 medically preserved remains of unborn babies in the Illinois home of Ulrich Klopfer, who performed thousands of abortions in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. I strongly support the investigation being carried out by the attorneys general of Illinois and Indiana. I also offer any assistance, including the use of our Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne, for the proper and dignified burial of the remains of these unborn children.

I am glad that some abortion advocates have joined in expressing their shock and disturbance at the discovery of the remains of the aborted babies, yet I am amazed at their simultaneous deceptive and false affirmation that abortion is health care and serves and empowers women. Some promote an abortion agenda so radical that they support legal abortion even in the third trimester, without restrictions. 

Abortion is not health care. It is the intentional killing of innocent and defenseless human beings. Abortion does not serve or empower women; rather, it harms and victimizes them. The wounds of abortion are deep, often resulting in emotional, psychological and spiritual suffering. The Church offers hope and healing to all who suffer from the pain of abortion and its aftermath through our post-abortion ministry, Project Rachel. I invite any woman or man suffering the wounds of abortion to contact our Project Rachel ministry at 1-855-RACHEL HOPE. We feel especially at this time for those women who had abortions performed by Ulrich Klopfer who have been traumatized by the discovery of the remains of the unborn babies who were possibly their own. 

The discovery of the fetal remains shows the barbarity of abortion. As disturbed as we are by the discovery, we need to be even more disturbed that innocent human life continues to be taken here in our diocese with the opening a few months ago of the Whole Women’s Health clinic in South Bend. This facility, though rightly not granted a license by the Indiana Department of Health, was allowed to open and operate by a federal court injunction. After the closing of Klopfer’s clinic in Fort Wayne in 2013 and the closing of his clinic in South Bend in 2016, when his medical license was suspended, our diocese had been a place without abortion facilities, where innocent human life was protected. 

Women in crisis pregnancies were served with care and compassion, especially through the Women’s Care Centers. This care and compassion continue, though now we again have a place where the most vulnerable and voiceless among us can be killed in their mother’s womb. Let us pray fervently that our diocese will one day soon be again without an abortion clinic. And let us pray for a greater respect for all human life and for a greater respect for the true dignity of women.