My heart skipped a beat as I read the news. The fetal remains of 2,246 children had just been found at the home of Ulrich “George” Klopfer. These 2,246 medically preserved fetal remains found on Sept. 12 tell a story of a troubled man and shine a light on the need for effective abortion oversight laws.
What kind of man ignores disposal requirements and pockets the babies he aborts as trophies? This kind of behavior reminds us of serial killers such as Ted Bundy and fellow abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
I have been following Klopfer’s career for a long time — first as a pro-life concerned citizen, then as the executive director of Allen County Right to Life in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Under different circumstances, one might describe him as my archenemy, but I couldn’t see him that way. What I saw in Klopfer was a very broken man who, like all of us, was in need of God’s mercy.
Ulrich George Klopfer’s History
Klopfer’s story starts in Dresden, Germany, where he claims to have witnessed massive causalities following Allied bombing. He said he and his family escaped from East Germany when he was a child and spent time in a refugee camp. They immigrated to the United States, and after finishing college, he entered medical school, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. Filmmakers Mark and Amber Archer, who are working on a documentary about Klopfer’s Fort Wayne business location, believe his story checks out.
Almost immediately after medical school, Klopfer began his career as an abortionist. His career started in Illinois and ended in Indiana, where he eventually owned abortion businesses in Gary, South Bend, and Fort Wayne. Right to Life estimates he did well more than 50,000 abortions in more than four decades.
We considered Klopfer a circuit-riding abortionist. He resided in Illinois, yet visited his Indiana abortion businesses once a week. His day in Fort Wayne, in the facility immediately next door to our office, was Thursday. He would arrive at the facility late at night on Wednesday and spend the night there before seeing pregnant women in the morning.
Klopfer disdained anyone who dared to question his profession as an abortion doctor. He hurled insults at me and my staff and those praying across the street. The calm and loving sidewalk counselors could tell tales of the ramblings of an incoherent man who spouted his bitterness to the world.
Opportunities for Oversight
Indiana is a pro-life state. We kept tabs on Klopfer and other abortion businesses in Indiana the best we could through public reports, such as facility inspection reports and termination of pregnancy reports. But Klopfer showed us areas where the abortion industry needs more oversight.
In the late 2000s, we heard reports of women showing up in local emergency rooms after botched abortions. Eventually, through a lot of testimony and public policy work, we got the first-in-the-nation county admitting privilege ordinance on the books.
This meant Klopfer needed a back-up doctor on record to take care of women who required care after he did an abortion and drove back home to Illinois. The whole ordinance might have fallen through if it weren’t for a pro-life doctor named Geoffrey Cly who offered to be Klopfer’s back-up. He was an OBGYN for the right reasons — he wanted to take care of his patients. So he served as Klopfer’s back-up, meaning he was the doctor on file to take care of any women who arrived to the emergency room after an abortion by Klopfer.
By 2013, we had ramped our enforcement measures way up. We scoured every public document we could get our hands on. What we found shocked us. Klopfer was doing abortions on young Hoosier girls, some under 14, and not reporting them to the Department of Child Protective Services as required by law. This meant he was sending very young victims back into abusive, sexual relationships.
We put a lot of public pressure on Klopfer. Other abortion industry leaders, such as Planned Parenthood, recognized he was a public relations nightmare and stopped publicly defending him. But Klopfer did his own PR. In the midst of the underage abortion scandal, he told a reporter he was telling parents and guardians to take their girls across state lines for abortions so he wouldn’t have to report them to authorities.
At the end of 2013, the pro-life doctor rescinded his back-up agreement with Klopfer. Without a back-up doctor, Klopfer could no longer do abortions in Fort Wayne. Our county ordinance had put one of his clinics out of business.
A 40-Year Abortion Career Comes to an End
Following the closure of Klopfer’s Fort Wayne clinic, we kept up the oversight pressure on Klopfer’s South Bend and Gary facilities. By the end of 2015, substandard conditions and health code violations kept him from doing Indiana abortions.
In August 2016, Klopfer appeared before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board in a hearing that lasted 15 hours. Klopfer admitted to not reporting child sexual abuse and then promoting ways to cover it up. The board members were outraged, and rightly so. Klopfer’s own words sealed his fate, and the board stripped him of his medical license.
I wrote in the hours following that hearing:
This is a sad tale of an immigrant with a bright future that could have been used to save lives. But he ended up all these years later with nothing to show but a heap of broken bodies of dismembered children and more heartbroken mothers than we can count. While I am glad his nefarious deeds have stopped, I cannot rejoice. There is no victory here for the thousands of preborn boys and girls who never had a birthday, or their mothers who are now the mothers of dead babies. There is no victory for a broken old man who has wasted what could have been a wonderful career. And there is no victory for those of us who have invested our hearts, time and treasure over years bringing him to justice. May God receive all the glory for whatever glory there is in this heartbreaking story.
In the three years since Klopfer lost his medical license, he continued to drive to Fort Wayne weekly to spend Wednesday nights sleeping at his abortion facility. It’s a dark tale. But those weekly visits gave us an opportunity to continue showing God’s love and mercy to him. I know many in the Right to Life movement joined me in praying for him all the way until his death on Sept. 3.
Justice for the 2,246 Babies
We can’t breathe life back into the 2,246 fetal remains just discovered at Klopfer’s home. But we can demand justice for them. And we can demand that pro-life laws and oversight regulations stay in place until we can completely overturn the scourge of abortion.
We have many questions, and we call on Illinois and Indiana authorities to work together to investigate and provide answers. We demand closure for the women who had abortions at Klopfer’s facilities. I have heard personally from women who have been flooded with emotion since learning he collected 2,246 bodies as trophies. They wonder if their children are among them.
Oversight laws and regulations allowed us to expose Klopfer’s evil deeds and shut him down. We continue to call for enforcement of all abortion facilities. In South Bend, the abortion facility that replaced Klopfer’s clinic is operating without a license, thanks to an activist judge. The State Department of Health initially refused to grant an abortion license for it lacking a “reputable and responsible character.” We need health officials to be able to inspect this facility and ensure women’s health is never compromised.
The ultimate justice for these 2,246 would be for their little lives to serve as a catalyst to end abortion. These 2,246 lives speak to an abortion industry that cares nothing for human dignity and nothing for the women it alleges to help. These lives show that we can, and must, do better in recognizing the value in every human life.
Cathie Humbarger is the Executive Director of Allen County Right to Life in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She has been advocating for unborn boys and girls and their mothers for over 30 years through her work in the prolife movement using education, community awareness, and public policy activism.