Weeks after more than 2,200 fetal remains were found in the Illinois home of a deceased doctor who had performed abortions for decades, authorities have discovered more remains stashed in one of the doctor’s cars.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill told reporters late Wednesday that investigators in Chicago had found the additional fetal remains, NPR reported. They were medically preserved in five plastic bags and one box, inside one of the eight cars that the doctor, Ulrich Klopfer, kept on a property there.
Authorities believe there were fewer than 100 fetal remains inside the car, though further investigation is needed. They appear to be from 2000 to 2002, according to NBC News.
Klopfer’s family discovered 2,246 remains in Klopfer’s house last month, after he passed away in early September. Those remains were similarly stored in bags with chemicals that preserve biological material, CNN reported.
"I can tell you, the 31 years I've been doing this job, I have never seen anything like this, ever. It is a strange, one of those once-in-a-lifetime things," Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley said at a press conference shortly after the discovery.
Klopfer had performed abortions at three clinics in South Bend, Indiana, but had his license suspended in 2016, partly for failing to follow state documentation requirements. By storing the fetal remains on his premises, Klopfer broke Indiana law, authorities said.
The remains found in Klopfer’s house have since been sent back to Indiana, and are set to be buried.
Klopfer has quickly become a flashpoint among anti-abortion activists, and congressional Republicans are now using his case to push for a nationwide “fetal burial law,” which would mandate that fetuses are always cremated or buried. By building up a surfeit of laws that treat fetuses like people, supporters of the so-called fetal personhood movement hope that they can one day use this legislation to unwind Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Cover: Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley, left, speaks at a news conference accompanied by Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Joliet, Ill. Authorities have found no fetal remains at a shuttered abortion clinic once operated by the late abortion Dr. Ulrich Klopfer whose Illinois property was found to contain more than 2,200 medically preserved fetal remains. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)