The family of the late abortionist Ulrich “George” Klopfer made the horrifying discovery earlier this month that he was hoarding the fetal remains of more than 2,200 aborted babies at his Illinois home.
While the Indiana Attorney General’s Office continues to investigate the disturbing disclosures about Klopfer, who died on Sept. 3, pro-life advocates argue that his case highlights the serious lack of regulation in the abortion industry when it comes to safety standards, the disposal of remains and reporting.
Last week, the office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill reported after a preliminary investigation that “all the fetuses were aborted by Dr. Klopfer at Indiana clinics located in Fort Wayne, Gary and South Bend” and “were aborted from the years 2000 to 2002.” They are also “working to preserve and protect thousands of medical records found both at Dr. Klopfer’s Illinois residence and at his abandoned Indiana abortion clinics.”
“We have a concern about the abandoned records,” Attorney General Hill said in a statement. “Folks who use these clinics have a high degree of expectation of privacy and confidentiality. … It’s deplorable now that folks who went into this procedure, no matter how you feel about this procedure, have to relive that moment.” At a news conference, the attorney general promised to investigate further but also to make sure the remains of the unborn babies “are treated with the proper dignity and respect deserving of anyone.”
History of Disregard for the Law
Steve Aden, the chief legal officer and general counsel at Americans United for Life, told the Register that Klopfer had a history of disregarding both the law and women’s health.
“He refused to report the statutory rape, potentially the forcible rape, of a 10-year-old girl and sent her back to the same situation where she had endured the abuse,” said Aden, referencing a 2016 complaint against Klopfer by the attorney general’s office that resulted in the suspension of his medical license. Klopfer admitted during the proceedings that he performed an abortion on a 10-year-old who had been raped by her uncle and did not notify authorities, instead sending her back to her family, who was refusing to prosecute.
In 2015, Klopfer’s license was also briefly suspended for failing to timely report abortions he performed on two 13-year-old girls. Aden noted that Klopfer apparently also was engaging in the illegal practice of “transporting baby bodies across state lines without getting any kind of consent” from patients.
Aden litigated against Klopfer in 2010 when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana filed a lawsuit on behalf of Klopfer’s clinic, Fort Wayne Women’s Health, against a patient safety law that required that itinerant physicians — who only have part-time or temporary offices in the county — must provide patients and area hospitals with 24-hour contact information and the name of a second physician designated for patient follow-up.
Aden provided the Register with a copy of a signed affidavit from Klopfer in the case. The abortionist argued in the document that the ordinance would impair his ability to protect the privacy of his patients, writing that, “if I cannot guarantee the utmost privacy and confidentiality regarding patient visits to the clinic, they may very well be reluctant to come to the clinic and obtain an abortion.”
Aden commented, “Here’s a guy who’s saying under oath in federal court ‘my highest priority is protecting the privacy of my patients because it is so important to them,’ and, at the same time, he’s carrying the bodies of their babies across state lines without their permission, without their knowledge, storing them in his garage.”
“The whole story is shocking,” Aden emphasized, but he lamented that “it’s a story that’s repeated all over the country with dirty and dangerous abortionists. It’s the [Kermit] Gosnell story. It’s the Douglas Karpen story in Houston. It’s the Delaware Planned Parenthood story, where three nurses walked out of Delaware Planned Parenthood because they were claiming that patients’ safety was so bad they couldn’t sustain it.”
Klopfer’s case has been compared by many to the case of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted in 2013 on three counts of murder for snipping the spinal cords of babies born alive after abortions. State investigators found the remains of aborted babies in glass jars in Gosnell’s facility.
Houston abortionist Douglas Karpen was accused by three of his former employees of killing infants born alive after abortion by “snipping the infant’s spinal cord with scissors, cutting the neck with Sopher forceps or similar instruments; twisting the infant’s head; using forceps or other instruments, or his finger to crush the ‘soft spot’ of the infant’s head, or crushing it by the same means through its stomach; or inserting his finger down its throat.”
The House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives made two criminal referrals against Karpen in 2016, and the FBI reportedly is investigating him.
Mayra Rodriguez, a former director of three Planned Parenthood facilities in Arizona, was awarded $3 million in damages by an Arizona court last month after she was terminated by the organization when she complained of “physician malpractice, illegal conduct of a doctor, falsification of affidavits and patient records, and failure to report a minor who had an adult partner.”
Myra Neyer, a former surgical assistant at a Planned Parenthood facility in Baltimore, told the Register in June that her facility would be warned in advance about inspections and did not meet basic health-and-safety standards. She said she witnessed one instance in which they did not report the apparent rape of a nonverbal, pregnant woman with Down syndrome whose guardian brought her in for an abortion.
A 2013 report by the South Bend Tribune that noted Klopfer’s reporting violations also found that abortionist Michael King performed two abortions on girls under the age of 14 at the Planned Parenthood Georgetown Health Center in Indianapolis in 2012 and waited several weeks to report the procedures, despite a state law mandating that he report them within a three-day window.
“We take our reporting obligations seriously and are committed to following all reporting laws and regulations,” Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky said in a statement at the time. “The Indiana State Department of Health has not identified timeliness as an issue with any of the terminated-pregnancy reports we submitted in 2012.”
In 2014, one of King’s former employees, Marianne Anderson, described her time as a nurse at the Planned Parenthood facility. She described an incident when a man brought in a young Korean girl. “I had no doubt in my mind this girl was a sex slave,” she said. “This guy would not leave her side. They could barely communicate.”
“Girls would start crying on the table, and Dr. King would say, ‘Now you chose to be here. Sit still. I don’t have time for this,’” Anderson recounted.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, has kept a tally of some of Planned Parenthood’s and other abortion providers’ more egregious abuses of health-and-safety standards. These included frequent hospitalizations due to botched abortions and unsanitary conditions that led to the closure of some facilities.
One Woman’s Account of Klopfer
Trenevia Ivory, an Indiana woman who spoke to the local news about Klopfer, told the Register that she underwent an abortion at the age of 17 at his facility in 2008 after being coerced to do so by a mentor who tutored her for a learning disability. Ivory said the business did not ask her if it was her choice to obtain the procedure, and Klopfer prevented her when she tried to get off the operating table twice.
“I tried to get up twice to get up and run, and Dr. Klopfer — he pushed me hard,” she recalled, “and he said, ‘If you was able to lay down on your back, you’re able to get this abortion done.’ That’s exactly what he said to me. I had bad vibes from him when I was there.” She described Klopfer as “creepy” and “disrespectful” and said he seemed to “enjoy” seeing her suffer.
In the 2016 proceedings in which his medical license was suspended, the board discovered that Klopfer did not give pain medication to girls over the age of 16 unless they paid extra.
At the time Klopfer’s license was revoked in 2016, board member Rebecca Moredock-Mueller described the abortionist to South Bend Tribune “as having a nonchalant attitude and lacked sound medical judgment.”
“The thing that bothered me most was his professional incompetence,” Moredock-Mueller told the Tribune.
For her part, Ivory has battled with anxiety and depression both before and since the procedure. She said the discovery of the remains has caused her to be “re-traumatized all over again.” Ivory initially was afraid that her child could be among the aborted babies found in Klopfer’s home, but she has since learned that the remains are from 2000 to 2002.
‘The Ugly Truth’
Maureen Ferguson, a senior policy adviser with The Catholic Association, told the Register that the discoveries at Klopfer’s home are just one more example of the way abortionists disregard health-and-safety standards.
“This case totally gives lie to the abortion lobby’s claim that they’re interested in women’s health, because, time and again, we’ve shown that abortion clinics operate in very substandard ways, in terms of health and safety; and the abortion lobby fights health-and-safety regulations all the way up to the Supreme Court,” she argued. “They don’t want oversight in their clinics.”
Ferguson emphasized that Klopfer’s case reveals “the ugly truth of what abortion is and what remains: What remains after abortion is a tiny little human body, and it puts that tragic truth in front of our faces in a way we can’t deny.”
Lauretta Brown is the Register’s Washington-based staff writer.