Accuracy in Media

Last year, authorities discovered 2,411 fetal remains in the home of a deceased abortion doctor Dr. Ulrich Klopfer in Illinois. This week, the fetal remains were buried in Indiana, where Klopfer ran abortion clinics in Gary, Fort Wayne and South Bend, but there was sparse media coverage about the burial ceremony and the overall controversy.

The remains were buried in a donated burial plot in South Bend and the majority of which were discovered in the garage of Klopfer’s home. Some of the other remains were found in one of his vehicles at a different location. Klopfer was “one of the Midwest’s most prolific abortion doctors,” as the South Bend Tribune said, and the remains were most likely from abortions performed between 2000 and 2002.

The remains were discovered in plastic medical bags filled with formalin, a chemical preservative, which were then stored in cardboard boxes.

Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill attended the burial ceremony and said the “shocking discovery” of the remains “was horrifying to anyone with normal sensibilities.

“Regrettably, there is no shortage of depravity in our world today, including due regard for the most vulnerable among us.” The state of Indiana is also one of the few states that mandates the cremation or burial of fetal remains after an abortion.

Other than the South Bend Tribune, which is a part of the Gannett USA Today network, only the Associated Press and Washington Post covered the burial ceremony. The articles defended Klopfer’s legacy, noting how he had to operate in Indiana, a strict anti-abortion state. The outlets also quoted a past statement from Klopfer, where he accused Indiana authorities and antiabortion activists conspiring to shut down his abortion clinics.

Yet none of the media outlets or state authorities confirmed why Klopfer stored 2,411 fetal remains in his garage and in a car.

The media’s sparse coverage of recent burial ceremony for fetal remains illustrated the media’s resistance to reporting about abortion news outside of protests, court cases, and lawsuits. It also demonstrated the tendency for the media to blame anti-abortion activists for shutting down abortion clinics and restricting abortion doctors.

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