More than 2,000 medically preserved fetal remains were found at a deceased abortion provider's Illinois home Thursday by his family as they sorted through his belongings, authorities said.
A lawyer for Ulrich "George" Klopfer's family called the Will County Coroner's Office that afternoon to report that the family had found what appeared to be fetal remains, the county sheriff said in a statement. Klopfer, who died Sept. 3, worked for decades at the Women's Pavilion clinic in South Bend, Indiana.
Investigators arrived at Klopfer's home and found 2,246 fetal remains, according to the sheriff's office. The coroner's office took possession of them.
No evidence indicates that medical procedures were performed at Klopfer's home, and his family is cooperating with the investigation, the sheriff's office said. No other information was immediately available.
Klopfer is considered Indiana's "most prolific" abortion doctor, with tens of thousands of procedures performed, the South Bend Tribune reported. The state suspended his medical license in 2016 for failing to exercise reasonable care and for violating notice and documentation requirements, the Tribune reported. The Women's Pavilion shut down the same year.
Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter responded to the report of the remains being found. He said, "These sickening reports underscore why the abortion industry must be held to the highest scrutiny." Fichter further called on Indiana authorities to investigate whether the fetal remains had any connection to abortion operations in Indiana.
Jeanne Mancini, president of the antiabortion March for Life, said the fetal remains allegedly at Klopfer's home are a reminder that it is "outrageous" that abortion activists and many politicians advocate for fewer regulations on the procedure.
"We urge a thorough investigation of this case so that justice may be done, and so that the public becomes aware of what really happens inside America's abortion industry," Mancini said in a statement.
The macabre discovery of fetal remains contains echoes of the case of Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia doctor who is serving a life sentence after a jury in 2013 convicted him of murder for snipping the spinal cords of three babies who lived for a few moments outside the womb. Investigators found dismembered remains in milk jugs and glass jars inside Gosnell's clinic.
The remains allegedly found at Klopfer's home also resonate because of his clinic's location in South Bend, whose mayor is 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg. Anti-abortion circles buzzed this month about Buttigieg's remark on the radio show "The Breakfast Club" that the Bible says "life begins with breath."
The Journal Gazette contributed to this report.