The 2,400-plus fetal remains discovered on the property of a deceased abortion provider will be “memorialized” Wednesday at a graveside service in South Bend, Indiana, Attorney General Curtis T. Hill Jr. announced Monday. Hill also plans to offer remarks at the service.
The remains were found in an Illinois house and car belonging to Dr. Ulrich Klopfer, who used to practice at abortion clinics in Indiana, shortly after Klopfer died in September. Investigators have been unable to identify the remains, thanks to shoddy storage and record-keeping, but they’re believed to be from the early 2000s, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Klopfer had performed abortions for an unspecified period at three clinics in Indiana, which have since closed. But his license was suspended in 2016, in part due to his failure to follow state documentation requirements.
It’s unclear why, exactly, Klopfer kept the remains. However, the deceased provider broke Indiana law in doing so, authorities said.
Abortion opponents — including some congressional Republicans — have seized on the gruesome discovery and Ulrich as proof of the need for a nationwide “fetal burial law,” which would require that fetuses are always cremated or buried. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld a similar law in Indiana.
Supporters of the so-called fetal personhood movement hope that such laws, in concert with others that are similarly crafted to give fetuses the same rights as full-fledged people, will eventually help topple Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Cover: This Sept. 17, 2014 file photo shows Dr. Ulrich Klopfer. (South Bend Tribune via AP, File)
This article originally appeared on VICE US.