This past Friday, I was in South Bend, Indiana, to take part in a press conference
in front of the now closed abortion clinic run by abortionist Ulrich George Klopfer.
You may recognize his name. He died on September 3, at the age of 79, and on September 12, the remains of 2,246 babies were found in his residence in Will County, Illinois.
He had killed the babies by abortion during the years 2000 through 2002.
Now an investigation will be launched into what he was doing. The babies’ bodies will be transferred to Indiana as this process gets underway.
I was invited to the press conference because of my experience in conducting funerals for aborted babies, investigating what goes on inside the abortion industry, ministering to abortionists both before and after they leave the abortion industry, and leading the world’s largest ministries for those who have had abortions.
Attorney and pro-life activist Shawn Sullivan of the Life Center in South Bend convened the press conference. Shawn’s Life Center stands adjacent to Klopfer’s abortion clinic, which had just been raided by law enforcement officials the previous day. I saw the broken locks of the doors, and two abandoned vehicles of the abortionist. One of them was filled with large buckets.
At the press conference I pointed out a few key thoughts to keep in mind as we ponder this national tragedy.
1. This bizarre behavior by an abortionist is not at all unusual. We should be alarmed and disgusted by it, but not surprised. I’ve worked with former abortionists and dialogued with practicing abortionists for over 30 years. They are deeply ambivalent about what they do and deeply damaged by it. Not only will they sometimes keep the bodies of the babies they killed, but they and their staff will play games of catch, bowling, and “wishbone” with those bodies in the hallways of the clinics.
Part of the explanation is that the deliberate killing of children does not fit into the human psyche, and if you try to impose it, the psyche will rebel in bizarre ways.
Moreover, keeping the bodies of those you kill means, psychologically, that it’s not really the end. So if you’re ambivalent about the killing, you may want to suspend the action in time while you wrestle with it.
2. Many, like the Mayor of South Bend, Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, find the discovery of the bodies “disturbing” and “unacceptable.” Yet they don’t find the killing of the bodies similarly disturbing and unacceptable.
This reveals a process of dehumanization, which on one level or another explains what we all find disturbing about this. People cannot dehumanize the child in the womb (as Roe v. Wade and the abortion lobby have done) without dehumanizing themselves. We are hard-wired to preserve our species, to protect our children. But abortion violates that boundary, and therefore makes us uncertain of what we will do next, and whether our species will be able to survive.
That is the deep and most scary dimension of this story.
3. One of the things that complicates the grief and guilt a mother experiences after aborting her child is the absence of the body. She finds it hard to properly mourn. The discovery of these bodies, therefore, and a subsequent funeral and burial, can be a profound moment of healing, even if the baby is not your own.
As someone who works every day with moms, dads, and grandparents of aborted children, I know that as this story unfolds, they will be able to take a further step in grieving their lost baby, whose body they never saw.
Ironically, news of the Klopfer discovery spread on the same day as the National Day of Remembrance, which I co-founded and which consists of simultaneous memorial services nationwide at the graves of aborted babies.
4. America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion. Once all the proper steps have been taken in the Klopfer investigation, the bodies should not only be buried, but should be viewed. We have to confront, face to face, the evil of abortion in our nation. And if it’s too difficult for us to look at, maybe we shouldn’t be tolerating it.
We all, furthermore, should take part in the process of re-humanizing these babies and ourselves. One way we can do this is to help name the children. At www.Preborn.Life, we have set up a way for you to name one or more of the babies whose bodies were discovered in Klopfer’s home.
5. In the final years of his life, abortionist Klopfer was actually visiting the Life Center next door to his South Bend clinic, and talking with the pro-life people. A bond of friendship was even developed with some of them. I saw tears, in fact, on the faces of some of these pro-life people who recounted their interactions with Klopfer as I met with them on Friday.
While Klopfer, like Buttigieg his mayor, used to say that a baby’s life didn’t begin until the first breath (a scientifically backward position to hold), he began saying more recently that the life began at viability (still outdated, but a step better). He even prayed with the pro-life people that God’s will would be accomplished in his life.
I have accompanied many such doctors and clinic workers on their journey out of the abortion industry. I have seen the same pattern many times. He was certainly on a journey.
And so are we all. Let’s hope this incident brings America closer to ending abortion.
Fr. Frank Pavone is one of the most prominent pro-life leaders in the world. He became a Catholic priest in 1988 under Cardinal John O’Connor in New York. In 1993 he became National Director of Priests for Life. He is also the President of the National Pro-life Religious Council, and the National Pastoral Director of the Silent No More Campaign and of Rachel’s Vineyard, the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion. He travels to about four states every week, preaching and teaching against abortion. He broadcasts regularly on television, radio, and internet. He was asked by Mother Teresa to speak in India on abortion, and was asked by then-candidate Donald Trump to serve on his Pro-life and Catholic advisory councils. He has served at the Vatican as an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which coordinates the pro-life activities of the Catholic Church. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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