A week after 79-year-old former abortionist Ulrich “George” Klopfer died, his wife reported finding boxes in the garage of their Crete, Ill., home filled with the remains of more than 2,000 aborted babies. Klopfer had stored them in sealed plastic bags filled with formalin, a chemical used to preserve biological material. Each bag was carefully labeled and dated from 2000 to 2002. Authorities have not disclosed the gestational age at which the babies died.
The horrific discovery bears similarities to the case of Kermit Gosnell, the abortionist who kept baby parts in milk jugs and glass jars at his facility in Philadelphia. Gosnell was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2013 on three counts of murder for snipping the spinal cords of babies born alive. Two people who knew Klopfer told me how, also like Gosnell, he was careless with human life and ignored the suffering caused by abortion.
Licensed in 1979, Klopfer spent his entire career performing abortions, first in Illinois, then for decades at three Indiana abortion facilities in Fort Wayne, Gary, and South Bend. “It corrupted him. He became deranged,” said Mark Archer, a filmmaker who spent nearly two hours interviewing Klopfer in person last year for a documentary he plans to release next year.
Archer said Klopfer told him about his alleged experience as a child witnessing massive casualties during the Allied bombing of Dresden, Germany, in World War II. Klopfer also recounted that experience to Fort Wayne physician Geoffrey Cly.
“I do believe that marked his soul,” Archer said. “That was his gospel, where everything started, with pain and destruction.”
Klopfer earned a reputation as Indiana’s most prolific abortionist for killing tens of thousands of babies. The Indiana Medical Licensing Board suspended his medical license in 2016 for numerous infractions, including violating the state’s 18-hour waiting period for abortions, failing to report a 10-year-old girl’s rape by her uncle, and performing abortions on two 13-year-old girls. A raid of Klopfer’s now-closed abortion centers also revealed he illegally stored thousands of women’s medical records.
“He was an obsessive hoarder. … This was his fetish at the time, his collection,” Archer said of the remains found at Klopfer’s home.
Cly, a pro-life obstetrician who knew Klopfer, agreed. “It is as though he was keeping them as trophies,” he said. “He wanted someone to find them.”
Cly said he treated several women over the years who suffered life-threatening conditions due to botched abortions traced to Klopfer. One 20-year-old woman had to have her uterus removed.
In 2010, pro-life groups helped pass a patient safety ordinance in Allen County, Ind., requiring traveling doctors like Klopfer to have backup physicians, which led to the passage of a similar state law. Cly became the backup for Klopfer, providing care for women who came to the emergency room after an abortion. The two men met once to sign papers, and Cly recalled Klopfer telling him, “Leaving pieces of aborted babies inside women ‘happens,’ and he was preventing women from suffering from an unwanted child.”
Numerous doctors in Indiana treated women with botched abortions from Klopfer, Cly said, but “nothing was tracked.”
Illinois and Indiana state attorneys are investigating how the human remains found in Klopfer’s garage ended up at his home and whether any of his employees were involved. Authorities are transporting the remains to Indiana, where authorities are attempting to find their mothers. State law allows burial arrangements for aborted babies.
“If only we had known decades ago what this guy was doing, he could’ve been shut down,” Cly said.