Charles C. Camosy on How Deceased Doctor’s Cache of Fetal Remains Shows the Moral Cost of Practicing Abortion

This image made from a Dec. 1, 2015, video provided by WNDU-TV shows Dr. Ulrich Klopfer in South Bend, Ind. More than 2,200 medically preserved fetal remains have been discovered at an Illinois house of Dr. Klopfer, who performed abortions for decades in Indiana. Klopfer died earlier this month. (WNDU-TV via AP, File)

Charlie Camosy, though a native of very rural Wisconsin, has spent more than the last decade as a professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University. He is the author of five books, including, most recently, “Resisting Throwaway Culture.” He is the father of four children, three of whom were adopted from the Philippines.


By now there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the horrific discovery at the home of the recently deceased abortion provider, Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer. His family came across more than two thousand corpses of “medically preserved” prenatal children, most of whom were apparently killed at his South Bend, Indiana, clinic.

These kinds of stories are often covered by local media and get serious attention in pro-life circles — but then, as happened with the similarly disturbing discoveries about the abortion practices of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, major media are slow to catch on to their newsworthiness.

Not so with this story. Major media from The Washington Post, to The New York Times, to USA Today were all over it, and understandably so.

Implicit in the coverage of this story is a single question: What could have possibly led to this physician’s depraved behavior? Were these, as National Review writer Alexandra DeSanctis suggested, “ghastly trophies” of the OB-GYN’s work?

Whatever the explanation, this was clearly the work of someone who had lost contact with his humanity.

A running theme through my new book on the ethic of Pope Francis is how violent acts, like the killing and discarding of a prenatal child, often lead to the killing and discarding of the humanity of those who perform such violence, especially when it is repeated over and over again. Participating in our violent throwaway culture leads to serious moral injury.

Not surprisingly, there were warning signs that Dr. Klopfer might have been heading down a destructive path. In a 2016 public hearing that led to the loss of his medical license, it was revealed that Klopfer had failed to report the rape of a 10-year-old girl, refused to give pain medication to women over 15 years old (until they could “pay extra”) and failed to meet other reporting and documentation standards.

The fact that those who regularly participate in prenatal violence do moral injury to themselves has become an increasingly important focus for the pro-life movement. Abby Johnson, a former abortion clinic manager who became a pro-life activist, for instance, founded a group called “And Then There Were None,” with the goal of helping people leave an industry that so often damages those who participate in it.

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Source: Religion News Service