By Dave Andrusko
A fascinating piece in the Chicago Sun Times written by Stefano Esposito, reinforces a conclusion that may or may not prove to be ultimately true about the late Ulrich Klopfer who left behind the remains of at least 2,400 aborted babies discovered stashed away in two separate locations—that we’ll never know why:
“You can speculate till hell freezes over,” said Kevin Bolger, a Chicago lawyer representing Klopfer’s widow. “You’re not going to know the answer. He took it with him.”
However we learn a great deal more about Klopfer, who was 79 when he died September 3, from Esposito’s account, even as a number of mysteries remain.
Let’s first quickly enumerate what we do know.
*Ulrich aborted as “few” as “tens of thousands” of babies, although the total may be closer to 40,000 or 50,000. He finally lost his medical license in Indiana permanently in 2016.
*The initial discovery of 2,246 fetal remains came after the attorney for Klopfer’s widow called local officials in Will County, Illinois. Mrs. Klopfer, her sister, and a brother in law found what turned out to be the “perfectly preserved” remains in a garage in Klopfer’s home in Crete, Illinois, which is 40 miles from downtown Chicago. Another 165 babies’ bodies were discovered in the trunk of a late 1990s Mercedes Benz in the Chicago suburb of Dolton where Ulrich had stowed eight older cars.
*Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has taken charge of the babies’ bodies and is leading an ongoing investigation. As Esposito notes, one of the questions is “whether Klopfer had help moving the fetuses.”
The question has always been and remains why did Klopfer, who had licenses to practice medicine in Florida and South Dakota and Illinois, moved almost all his “work” to his three abortion clinics in Indiana, where he “got a license to practice in Indiana in the late 1970s.”
**What is new, at least to me, is his involvement in an infamous abortion clinic that was part of one of the most famous jobs of investigative reporting on abortion ever. Esposito writes
Klopfer spent his early career in downtown Chicago, working at Chicago Loop Mediclinic, 316 N. Michigan Ave. — a facility that figured prominently in the Chicago Sun-Times/Better Government Association 1978 investigation “The Abortion Profiteers.” The series documented how women were moved through clinics with conveyor-belt-like speed, not all of them surviving and others left maimed. At Mediclinic, where doctors were paid per procedure, Klopfer tried to one-up another abortionist, Dr. Ming Kow Hah.
Klopfer was featured in the Nov. 15, 1978, Chicago Sun-Times story, from which Esposito quotes:
They [Klopfer and Hah] compete to see who can get the most patients done,” a former clinic nurse was quoted as saying. “They’ll ask each other, ‘How many have you done?’ or they’ll ask the staff how many the other guy has done. … Klopfer would be having a cup of coffee and be on his last sip when he’d jump up and say, ‘I’d better get going or Hah will have the whole recovery room full.’”
** In the you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up category, “The Gary [Indiana] clinic, a bunker-like brick building with slits for windows, sits across from a now-shuttered child-care facility called Children Are the Future.”
** Klopfer “also often told people that, when he died, he expected to meet the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini.”
**Once he lost his license and no longer could see patients, Klopfer nonetheless drove to his abortion clinics. Asked why, he responded, “Force of Habit.”
**A pro-lifer who had peacefully picketed outside one of Klopfer’s abortion clinics (and whom Klopfer had verbally abused over and over), took the admonition of his pastor’s sermon to heart—“Think of the person you dislike the most and ask for forgiveness” —and “Somehow, a friendship developed.” For five years they drank coffee together every Thursday morning.
**The babies’remains were carefully labeled. Indiana authorities agree they came from abortions performed in Indiana between 2000 and 2002. “A spokeswoman for the Indiana attorney general said there was no ‘specific’ law for the disposal of fetal remains during that time,” Esposito writes. “That changed on Sept. 3 — the day Klopfer died — when an Indiana abortion law that had been contested all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court took effect, requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains following an abortion.” Finally…
**Esposito begins and ends his story with one woman on whom Klopfer performed two abortions at his Ft. Wayne, Indiana clinic in 1998. Her words may yet prove (unfortunately) to be prophetic.
[The woman] can’t get rid of the nagging fear that something once belonging to her might yet turn up.
“I’m definitely left wondering: Are they going to find more somewhere else?” she said.