September 20, 2019

USA: 2,246 Fetal Remains Were Found In The Home Of An Abortionist That Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg Championed And Supported.

CBS Chicago published on Sep 13, 2019: More than 2,200 medically preserved fetal remains were found by a family after the death of a well known abortion doctor last week, the Will County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday night.
written by Staff
Friday September 13, 2019

Officials say 2,246 fetal remains were found in the home of a doctor who used to perform abortions in South Bend until his license was suspended in 2015.

Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, who has a home in Will County, Illinois, passed away on September 3.

Klopfer used to practice out of Women's Pavilion in South Bend. You may remember the state of Indiana suspended Klopfer's medical license in 2015 for failing to exercise reasonable care and violating several notice and documentation requirements. He was accused of failing to report an abortion performed on a 13-year-old.

Last week his family was looking through his home in Will County following his death.

There they found the fetal remains.

The family requested proper removal of the remains, and that's when investigators found over 2,000 medically preserved fetuses at the property.

There is no evidence of medical procedures being performed at the location,

The investigation is ongoing and the family is cooperating.
Chicago Tribune
written by Angie Leventis Lourgos
August 6, 2019

A young woman exited the back door of the clinic clutching a fistful of crumpled tissues in one hand and some paperwork in the other as she made her way to the parking lot.

A trio of volunteers in bright pink vests labeled Pro-Choice Clinic Escort walked beside her until the patient reached her SUV. As she drove off the property, the escorts each deployed a rainbow-hued umbrella, hoisting them over their shoulders to form a colorful barrier between the vehicle and several protesters out front. Some were praying, others bore signs declaring “Abortion takes a human life” and “It’s a child, not a choice.”

With reproductive rights increasingly under fire across the country, the clinic opened June 27 in a particularly curious state of limbo: A federal judge in May granted a preliminary injunction allowing Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend to perform medication abortions even as the clinic remains unlicensed by the Indiana State Department of Health, pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by the clinic’s owner. The state has appealed the temporary opening to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

The small red-brick, pitched-roof clinic about 90 miles east of downtown Chicago has become the epicenter of a larger war over reproductive rights nationwide as more conservative states enact restrictions poised to challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that established the right to terminate a pregnancy nationwide.

The state health department had denied the clinic’s 2017 application for a license over allegations it failed to meet the requirement of “reputable and responsible character,” as well as for not releasing information related to additional clinics.

Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend has called the state’s objections “politically motivated” and “medically unnecessary." It has waged a roughly two-year fight to bring abortion access to this city of about 102,000 in the shadow of the iconic Golden Dome at the University of Notre Dame.

The clinic’s tenuous survival has been championed by South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, whose national campaign includes a pro-reproductive rights platform.

“The mayor is deeply concerned by what he views as a new and extreme assault on Roe v. Wade in legislatures across the country,” said national press secretary Chris Meagher. “He believes that the truly radical idea in this debate and around abortion care is one of banning abortion outright. The South Bend clinic would be the only one for a radius of several counties. It is a restriction on a woman’s right if she is low-income, or doesn’t have a vehicle, and she has to visit multiple times, but the clinic is dozens of miles away.”

Last year, Buttigieg ignited a local firestorm when he vetoed a zoning request by the Women’s Care Center, an anti-abortion pregnancy center that attempted to open next door to Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend. In a letter to other city leaders, he argued that the neighborhood wouldn’t benefit from adjacent organizations with “deep and opposite commitments on the most divisive social issue of our time.”

Clinic officials applauded the mayor’s decision, thanking him in a written statement “for standing up for what is right and putting women and families of South Bend first.”

Yet the veto was denounced by many abortion opponents as stymieing a group that helps local women and children in need.

“It’s really disappointing to see him or any presidential candidate devalue the life of the unborn,” said Jackie Appleman, executive director of St. Joseph County Right to Life.

The pregnancy center — a nonprofit with the mission of giving women who face unplanned pregnancies the option to “choose life” — ultimately found a different site that didn’t require zoning changes.

It opened July 20, on the property of a former pet boarding business whose old owner learned of the charity’s plight.

The new location is just across the street from the abortion clinic, the two facilities with clashing ideologies in sight of one another.

‘I felt so shamed’
One clinic escort wiped beads of sweat from her brow and retreated to the shade of a large tree, awaiting the arrival of another patient. There was a weather advisory in effect that afternoon, with the heat index reaching more than 100 degrees.

Several anti-abortion demonstrators lingered just past a makeshift fence — a thin rope attached to a few wooden stakes separating the medical facility’s property from the public right of way. Clinic staffers say protesters are present every day, regardless of the weather.

“No one should have to go through this,” said 26-year-old Sarah Knowlton, a clinic escort who trains other volunteers. “We shield the patients. A lot of patients don’t understand, they think they’re just going to a doctor’s appointment. I didn’t understand when I was a patient.”

She recounted her own medication abortion some five years ago at a now-defunct clinic a few miles away. Abortion wasn’t a concept she ever thought of while growing up in a small Indiana town far from South Bend. As a 20-year-old college student still figuring out her life, Knowlton said she was grateful for a clinic close by.

The day of her appointment, mounds of snow filled the clinic parking lot after a winter storm, so she had to park on the street. She was shocked at the crowd of protesters that formed outside despite the icy roads and freezing temperatures.

The demonstrators kept calling her “mom,” she recalled, which enraged her. There were no escorts to walk by her side.

“It was the worst part of my abortion experience, having to walk through them,” she said. “I felt so shamed. They don’t know who I am, they don’t know me. Who are they? I thought Jesus said he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

More than 50 volunteers have been trained as escorts at Whole Woman’s Health and help in various ways, clinic staff say. When one protester began preaching with a megaphone, they raised money to buy a few sound machines to drown out the noise.

The scene was much quieter this afternoon. One woman out front, Janet Hernandez, alternated between prayer and attempting to pass out literature on alternatives to abortion.

“We’re not here to beat them up, we’re here to let them know they have a choice — but to help them make the right choice, the best choice,” said Hernandez, 42, her cheeks reddened from the severe heat. “I know women who have had abortions who still think about their abortion babies. This is not your only choice.”

Without a license
Inside, the clinic walls are a soft shade of purple laced with various inspirational quotes.

“Liberation must come from within,” by Chicago-born writer Sandra Cisneros, is etched above the front desk.

In the clinic waiting room, some women were alone, some couples embraced or held hands. Occasional soft sobs permeated from the clinic’s counseling room.

Ten clients came to Whole Woman’s Health that weekday, most for state-mandated counseling prior to their medication abortion. The clinic offers only nonsurgical abortions, up to 10 weeks of gestation.

Indiana requires an 18-hour waiting period before terminating a pregnancy, so the patients would be returning on another day to take the first pill, which stops the fetus from growing; the second pill is taken at home 24 to 48 hours later, expelling the pregnancy.

Without a state license, the clinic has to send patients to an outside lab for any bloodwork or other testing, which also can delay the time-sensitive procedure, said Brenda Morgan, acting clinic manager. Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a Texas-based nonprofit, also operates two other clinics in different states.

In Indiana, the medical provider first must go through an abortion informed consent brochure from the state health department, which includes color pictures of the embryo or fetus at the patient’s particular point in gestation as well as information about the likelihood of the fetus’s survival outside the womb.

“Indiana statute states: Human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm,” the brochure says.

Morgan said the staff provides its own patient counseling, separate from the state-mandated consent.

“You can come in here and know this is not the right time for me to have a baby, I’m in school, I can’t afford another baby," she said. "But we want to make sure this is not just the head talking, we want to make sure it’s the heart talking too. And that you know that you’re going to be OK when you walk out of here and you’re not pregnant.”

Last year, 8,037 women terminated a pregnancy in Indiana, an increase over 7,778 in 2017, according to state health department statistics released in June. In 2018, 142 were residents of St. Joseph County, which includes South Bend.

In granting the injunction that allowed the clinic to open, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker noted the burdens of legal restrictions and travel, saying “the obstacles to obtaining abortions in northern Indiana are such that women find it easier to travel out of state to Chicago, bypassing nearby Merrillville, to obtain abortions there.”

Whole Woman’s Health of South Bend has served roughly three dozen patients so far in its first month, an average of about 10 each week, Morgan said.

“We definitely realize the need is here in South Bend,” she said. “The need for us to be here.”

State officials, however, called it “deeply troubling” to have a medical clinic — especially an abortion clinic — open without a state license.

“Indiana will stand strong to protect women and unborn children by ensuring that its duly-enacted abortion regulations are properly enforced and defended," said a spokesman for Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill .

‘Opportunity to choose life’

It is just 60 steps from the entrance of the abortion clinic to the front of the pregnancy center, visible across high-traffic Lincoln Way.

That follows a larger pattern that plays out on the streets of cities and suburbs across the country: After a new abortion clinic opens, an anti-abortion pregnancy center will often settle nearby or next door, a reproductive rights chess match of sorts.

After Whole Woman’s Health established an abortion clinic in downstate Peoria a few years ago, another Women’s Care Center opened in an adjacent building. The Peoria abortion clinic, however, closed in June.

Women’s Care Center — which now has 32 centers in 11 states, including one in west suburban La Grange — was founded in 1984 in South Bend by a Notre Dame professor.

“Our locations are very important to us,” said Vice President Jenny Hunsberger. “So we have opened up next to, across the street, close to abortion clinics. … Often if we are next door to an abortion clinic, women come to us — not because they are coerced, not because they’re tricked, not because they don’t know — rather because they’re unsure or they want a second opinion.”

At the nonprofit’s headquarters center on Notre Dame Avenue in South Bend, a man in the lobby bounces a baby girl on his knee while reading a magazine. The cream-colored walls and plush couches are designed to feel warm and inviting, like the living room of a home. A dresser by the entrance offers baby clothing of all sizes for moms and dads to take on the way out.

Hunsberger estimates the mothers of roughly half of all babies born in the surrounding county annually are served by Women’s Care Center facilities; in the city of South Bend, it’s about two-thirds, she said, comparing state health department data to the organization’s records. There are three Women’s Care Centers in South Bend.

The average client will visit eight times a year, Hunsberger said, with centers offering parenting classes, book giveaways and a boutique with free strollers, cribs and car seats.

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