More than 2,000 medically preserved fetal remains have been found in the home of a former abortion clinic in the US state of Indiana after the doctor died last week, authorities said.
The office of the Will County Sheriff said in a press release late on Friday that a lawyer for Dr.’s family. Ulrich Klopfer contacted the coroner’s office on Thursday about possible fetal remains found in an unincorporated part of Will County in northeastern Illinois.
The sheriff’s office said the authorities found 2246 preserved fetal remains, but there are no indications that medical procedures were performed at home.
The coroner’s office took possession of the remains. An investigation is ongoing.
A message that was left on Saturday to request additional commentary on the discovery was not sent back by the research department at the Will County Sheriff office.
Klopfer, who died on September 3, was an old doctor at an abortion clinic in South Bend, Indiana.
It closed after the state had withdrawn the clinic’s license in 2015.
The Indiana State Department of Health had previously filed complaints against the clinic and accused it of lacking a patient registry, medical abortion policies, and a governing body to determine policies.
The state agency also accused the clinic of not documenting that patients receive compulsory education at least 18 hours prior to an abortion.
Klopfer was believed to be the most fertile abortion doctor in Indiana, with thousands of procedures performed in different decades in different decades in Indiana, the South Bend Tribune reported.
Mike Fichter, the president of Indiana Right to Life, said in a statement sent Friday night that “we are shocked” by the discovery of the fetal remains at the Klopfer residence in Illinois.
He called on the Indiana authorities to help determine if those remains are related to abortion operations in Indiana.
“These nauseating reports underline why the abortion industry must be given the greatest supervision,” Fichter said in the statement.
A report left by The Associated Press on Saturday for a spokesperson for Governor Eric Holcomb asking whether Indiana officials would investigate was not immediately returned.
Klopfer’s license was suspended by the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana in November 2016 after the panel identified a number of violations, including failure to ensure that qualified personnel were present when patients received medication given before and during abortion procedures.
Klopfer was no longer practicing at the time, but he told the panel that he had never lost a patient in 43 years of abortions and that he hoped to eventually reopen his clinics.
In June 2014, Klopfer in St. Joseph County, Indiana was accused of a crime for not submitting a public report in time. He was charged with months of waiting to report an abortion he had given to a 13-year-old girl in South Bend.
That indictment was later withdrawn after Klopfer had completed a pre-trial diversion program.
Republican Jackie Walorski called the discovery of the fetal remains “sickening without words” in a statement released by her office.
“He was responsible for thousands of abortions in Indiana, and his careless handling of human remains is a shame,” she said in her statement.
In May, the US Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law that requires funeral or cremation of fetal remains after state abortions.
That law was signed by Vice President Mike Pence in 2016 when he was the governor of Indiana, but it was the subject of legal challenges.
The Indiana State Department of Health, which oversees abortion clinic regulations, has integrated the provisions of that law into the agency’s existing licensing process.
Prior to the verdict, Indiana clinics were able to transfer fetal remains to processors who take care of the removal of human tissues or other medical equipment through incineration.