Selling Unborn Babies: the Reality of Fetal Tissue Research

The availability of abortion has spawned another business. Mainly, the selling of organs and body parts of aborted babies to research labs.

Technically, it is against the law for any clinic to sell fetal remains for money. The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 saw to this. The act makes it unlawful “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any human fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.”

However, many abortion clinics are able to get around this law. In the paper “Arguments Against Fetal Tissue Trafficking” the author explains how clinics circumvent the law.

“. . . The research institutes and the abortion clinics have joined with a third party, the fetal tissue wholesaler. The fetal tissue wholesaler pays the abortion clinics a “site fee” to place employees, known as “procurement agents,” who collect various body parts of the aborted fetuses as soon as the abortion process is finished and ship them to various research institutes. By having free access to all the desirable fetal tissue, these agents take the body parts that are requested to various research laboratories and government agencies.

The wholesaler is technically renting the space to harvest the body parts rather than paying for the tissue itself. The abortionist then “donates” the tissues to the wholesalers. At the other end of the transaction, the wholesaler will “donate” the fetal material to researchers but bill them for the cost of retrieval. Thus the business deal is complete.

An example of this is found in a book called “Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic.” It is not a pro-life book. Instead, it is intended as a balanced work of reference.

7 week old baby in a petri dish – ready to be dissected for his organs

From Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1996) by Peter Korn. (p 236-237) From the author’s observation:

“Although the operation is over, the fetus is still a matter of concern. This patient, like most, has signed an extra consent form allowing the extracted material to be used for medical research. Rhonda, a medical assistant who also works for a biological supply company, takes the surgical tray in another room where she uses a plastic colander to strain out the blood, leaving only the separated parts of the fetus. These she places in a glass dish, taking a moment to measure one of the feet against a transparent plastic ruler to establish exact gestational age. Earlier in the day she received her regular fax detailing what body parts are needed by which researchers around the country. The researchers specify preferences for age and, in some cases, sex. Liver, spleen, pancreas, and brain are the organs most often requested…”

Planned Parenthood also has a reference to donating fetal tissue on their website. Under the heading of “Donating Fetal Tissue for Medical Treatment and Research.”

“Decisions about donating human tissue are never taken lightly or made easily. Most agree that such decisions reflect generosity, courage, and the hope that some humanitarian good may come out of an unintended pregnancy.”

Note that the word “donating” is used. The woman is “donating” the tissue. Planned Parenthood implies that no money will be involved in the “donating” of fetal organs and parts. Yet Planned Parenthood makes money due to the method listed above. This is possible because the NIH Revitalization Act exempts “reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue” allowing a loophole so that everyone can make money -except the woman involved.

One e-mail transmission, made public by American Life League, was intercepted and published:

“Human embryonic and fetal tissues are available from the Central Laboratory for Human Embryology at the University of Washington. The laboratory, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health, can supply tissue from normal of [sic] abnormal embryos and fetuses of desired gestational ages between 40 days and term.

Specimens are obtained within minutes of passage and tissues are aseptically identified, staged and immediately processed according to the requirements of individual investigators.

Presently, processing methods include immediate fixation, snap fixation, snap freezing in liquid nitrogen, and placement in balanced salt solutions or media designated and/or supplied by investigators. Specimens are shipped by overnight express, arriving the day following procurement. The laboratory can also supply serial sections of human embryos that have been preserved in methyl Carnoy’s fixative, embedded in paraffin and sectioned at 5 microns. Inquiries are directed to Alan G. Fantel, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics RD-20, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.”

The former was a copy of e-mail transmission as printed out and mailed to A.L.L. J. Brown, Communique, May 13, 1994, p. 3

The following brochure was obtained from a fetal tissue wholesaler called Opening Lines is presented here.

This is a price list brochure of how much each piece of an aborted baby is worth. This is a real price list obtained directly from Opening Lines.

On an ironic note, many pro-choicers state that fetuses are not human beings or are merely blobs (or as one pro-choicer of my acquaintance said “A smear on a test tube.”) So how is it that laboratories can market organs from aborted babies and experiment on them precisely because they are human? If a fetus is nothing, a product of conception, or cluster of cells, how can scientists obtain human organs from them?

Pro-lifers have also unearthed order forms sent to abortion clinics. One such form quoted British Columbia’s Dr. Vanugram Venkatesh asking for an international Fed-Ex shipment of:

“16-24 week lungs (trachea not required)” to study “molecular mechanisms of fluid reabsorption in human fetal lung.”

The order also said simply, “Bill our account.”

Here is a copied order that one Planned Parenthood clinic received.

Here is an excerpt from an advertisement in the March 1994 NIH Guide. (The National Institutes for Health operate a Laboratory for Embryology at the University of Washington in Seattle that runs a 24- hour collection service at abortion clinics.)

“Department of Pediatrics, RD-20

“Seattle, WA 98195.”

This is an opportunity to make a difference . . . and it can be beneficial to your clinic. . . .

“1) Consultative and Diagnostic Pathology will lease space from your facility to perform the harvesting and distribution of tissue. The revenue generated from the lease can be used to offset your clinic’s overhead.

“2) Consultative and Diagnostic Pathology can train your staff to harvest and process fetal tissue. Based on your volume we will reimburse part or all of your employee’s salary, thereby reducing your overhead.”

Here are some similar documents.

And another:

The following incident was reported in “When Abortion Fails: The Unborn’s Uncertain Destiny” by Nick Thimmesch (Life Cycle Books)

Dr. Sophie Perry, director of the Department of Pathology at the District of Columbia General Hospital revealed to the press that the staff employees of that department had collected more than $68,000 dollars from commercial firms for the organs of stillborns and dead premature babies, some from “late term elective abortions.” A hospital official later admitted that the earnings were used to buy a television set for the lounge, to cover expenses for physicians attending conventions, and for soft drinks and cookies for visiting professors.”


An article on abortion recounts the following:

“Fetal skin specimens were used by Dr. Karen Holbrook of the University of Washington, Seattle, and her study of “Fetal Skin Biology” for her work she was granted $239,740 in 1984 to 1985. 60 human fetuses or embryos.”

When asked about how the babies were obtained for research, Dr. Holbrook said:

“Hopefully they are not born alive. It’s better to avoid that. The skin is taken after fetal demise.”

Olga Fairfax, “101 Uses for a Dead (or Alive) Baby” ALL About Issues 1984, 6 – 7


20/20 did a investigation of Dr. Miles Jones, Missouri pathologist whose company, Opening Lines, procures fetal tissue from clinics and ships it to research labs. The producer went undercover.

“It’s market force. It’s what you can sell it for. If you control the flow, it’s probably the equivalent the invention of the assembly line.”

Says Dr. Miles Jones, Missouri pathologist who wants to open an abortion clinic in Mexico so he can get a greater supply fetal tissue

“While ABC’s program was an eye-opener for many, it failed to air [the investigator]’s eyewitness accounts of babies who were dissected and their organs harvested while still functioning.. In these cases, according to the eyewitnesses, abortions were not performed – instead, babies were born alive in order to procure undamaged fetal specimens.”

“ABC Airs Bogus Report on Fetal Tissue Marketing” Washington: American Life League press release,, March 9, 2000

Quoted in Randy Alcorn “Pro-life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments” (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2000) 34-35


With no change in the laws, no media coverage, and no public outcry, such practices go on today.

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Aborted Babies Found in Michigan

LANSING, Michigan, October 27, 2010 ( Tighter legislation on the abortion industry is in the works after a local pro-life group revealed evidence of two abortion clinics having disposed aborted fetal remains with other bio-hazardous waste and medical documents in a dumpster.

According to Citizens for a Pro-Life Society (CPLS), the Michigan Attorney General and Saginaw County sheriffs concluded last Friday their 7-month investigation of two Womans Choice abortion clinics in Delta Township and Saginaw.

Back in February, local pro-life advocate Chris Veneklase confirmed suspicions that the Womans Choice abortion clinic in Delta Township was disposing bio-hazardous waste, and likely the corpses of aborted infants, along with the rest of the trash in its dumpster. Veneklase said he found the remains of 17 aborted unborn children in 17 bags marked with both the January dates of the abortions and the full names of the respective mothers.

Dr. Monica Miller, CPLS President, also investigated the Womans Choice clinic in Saginaw with Veneklase and found the same practice. Besides fetal remains, the trash bags contained bloody or soiled canulas, gloves, gauze, and surgical sheets, along with used medicine vials and urine sample cups that had women’s names written down, including some first and last names.

However the AG concludes that there are no grounds under current Michigan law to prosecute the clinics, other than that they were not properly incorporated under state law. Because the facilities were not properly incorporated, state authorities say they lack the legal grounds to discipline anyone for the improper handling of medical records.

“It is incredibly frustrating that abortion clinics continue to get away with abominations. It’s bad enough that the unborn are murdered, but their bodies are literally treated like trash,” said Miller. “Patient records are thrown away, and still nothing ever seems to happen to those who have no respect for life or for women.”

However Michigan GOP State Reps. Rick Jones, Bob Jenetsky and Joe Haveman say they intend to submit legislation that would change the law.

“I’m shocked by this dumping of 17 babies into a trash dumpster in my district, and I was further appalled that this may be a legal act under Michigan law,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. He called it “a sickening breach of human decency.”

The proposed law, HB 5929, would require that abortion clinics cremate aborted infants or bury them if the mother requests it. Two other bills, HB 6428 and HB 6429 would make violations of the new law a felony punishable by up to three years in jail, a maximum $5,000 fine, or both.

“I am disgusted and saddened by the actions of this clinic,” said Rep. Genetski. “Their utter disrespect for human life is abhorrent. I’m hopeful our bill package will put an end to atrocities such as this.”

Miller says that CPLS intends to have a burial service for the 17 aborted infants as soon as the opportunity arises. .

For more information and history of the case see the Citizens for a Pro-Life Society website (Warning: contains graphic images that can be very disturbing)

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Unborn Babies Found in Trash

Many people have seen photographs of aborted babies. But where did they come from? The photographer of many of those pictures tells her story. This is the testimony of Monica Migliorino Miller from the Priests for Life website.

“Truth. What Does that Mean?” I think we are in rats’ alley where the dead men lost their bones.
(T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland)

When we pulled our cars slowly into the dark alley behind the Michigan Avenue Medical Center, rats scurried before our headlights, frightened by the noise of our intrusion. Our three-vehicle caravan parked in the alley off Monroe Street in downtown Chicago. We stopped in front of a loading dock upon which stood three garbage dumpsters and a filthy blue-colored trash barrel. The abortion clinic’s address, “30 So.,” was crudely painted on the barrel in white lettering. It had rained in the Loop earlier that day, causing the alley pavement to shine with a slimy oil. The filth and stench of rotting garbage nearly overwhelmed the eight of us, that included Tim Murphy, Peter Krump, Andy Scholberg, Jerry McCarthy, Joe Scheidler and a pathologist from Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s hospital.

We climbed onto the loading dock, opened the dumpsters, and began to search through the trash. I opened a red dumpster and yanked out one or two bags of garbage from the Michigan Avenue Medical Center. I peered into the bottom of the dumpster and saw a bag that was baby blue in color. As I hauled the bag out it was heavier than the others. I rested it on the loading dock and opened it. The top was stuffed with used and bloody surgical paper. At the very bottom was a small, heavy cardboard box. It was about the size of two shoe boxes and was sealed in silver duct tape. I carefully cradled the box in my arms and placed it in the back seat of one of the cars. Jerry, Tim and Peter put all of the other bags back into the dumpster, arranging them to look as though nothing had been disturbed. As we pulled out of the alley the rats again darted in front of our headlights.

I watched one scamper across the top of a dumpster as our car made its way down the wet and slimy path and out into the street.

We drove to Joe Scheidler’s garage to examine the contents of the box, first setting it on a table beneath a bright light. We all gathered around the table as Peter carefully peeled off the silver duct tape and opened the flaps of the box. Inside were small plastic “specimen” bags. Each bag contained the remains of an aborted baby with placenta and uterine tissue. We took the bags out and laid them on the table. There were forty-three of them in all which represented about three or four days worth of abortions at the Michigan Avenue Medical Center.

Several bags were marked with the name of the aborted baby’s mother, her age, the gestational age of the fetal child, the date of the abortion and a number. We thought the number represented the number of abortions performed at the center since January 1, 1987. On this Saturday night, March 14, 1987, the number was in the three thousands. The pathologist in our company, who had many years of experience in handling the bodies of aborted as well as miscarried fetal children, said that most of the forty-three were between six and fourteen weeks of gestation. Despite the small size of the fetal remains, their tiny arms, legs, hands, feet, rib cages, spinal columns, eyes (floating free out of their sockets) bits of skull tissue and sometimes even an intact face were plainly visible through the plastic windows of the specimen bags, looming up through their murky liquid world of formalin and blood like the inky prophecies of a Magic 8 Ball.

At the very bottom of the box lay a plastic bag that was different from the others. It was a clear plastic bag, much larger and heavier than the others. I took the oblong-shaped bag into my hands to examine it. It was stuffed full with a material I could not recognize. I turned the bag over and over in my hands, but I had no idea what my eyes gazed upon. I began to grow fearful and apprehensive about this mysterious parcel. At last my eyes made sense of a shape pressed against the plastic–a shape familiar to me yet completely unfamiliar. I saw an arm–a very large arm. Then I saw another arm and then a foot, a full inch in length.

I had looked at those arms all these many seconds but I did not see them as arms because I had no prior mental category by which my brain could recognize them. They were dismembered arms of a completely torn and mutilated body and, up until that day, my eye had never seen such a reality through which this eviscerated corpse could speak to me. It was as if an alien stranger spoke a word to me I did not at first understand until finally, after much straining to listen to the foreign tongue, I at last comprehended his message. But actually, in this case, I did not even know a language was being spoken–the silent language of this child who spoke to me the shocking word of his broken body–a language legal abortion meant to silence at the bottom of a trash container.

We took the remains out of the bag, separated the limbs that had become enmeshed in the placenta and assembled the body parts. The child, a boy, was at least six months gestational age, perhaps even older. He had been killed by the D and E (dilation and evacuation) abortion method. His body was well formed and muscular. His red and purple veins could be seen through his translucent skin. Regaldo S. Florendo, the clinic’s owner and abortionist, saw every body part as he literally tore the fetal child limb from limb and removed the parts from the womb. The clinic seemed to want to hide this child as he lay on the very bottom of the box buried beneath others who shared a similar fate. And, unlike his unwanted brothers and sisters, not a single piece of identifying information was scribbled on his plastic burial shroud. Not only was his life wiped out, but the clinic seemed intent upon wiping out his identity as well–as if, unlike the others, this one never had, a name, a mother, an age, a date of death–an existence. It is possible that Florendo felt he had blundered somehow in the performance of this abortion upon a late-term baby and in panic needed to cover it up. Perhaps he made a mistake in calculating the unborn child’s age, started the abortion, and once begun, believed he had no choice but to see, what was certainly for him, the more than usual grisly deed completed.

Andy Scholberg took photos of this fetal child. Joe Scheidler stared at the hideous corpse for a moment. He then turned around and went into his house. He said he could not look at him any more.

This was not the first night we had retrieved the bodies of aborted children from the garbage dumpster behind the Michigan Avenue Medical Center and it would not be the last. The retrieval efforts began on February 28, 1987 and lasted until April 25. In those two months we recovered about five hundred bodies. We probably missed some of the now familiar silver duct taped boxes. Tim Murphy sometimes went to the alley twice a week and came out with a box taken from the trash.

I became involved in the retrievals after receiving a call from Jerry McCarthy, who had gone on the first retrieval mission. Joe Scheidler found out about the trash dumpster babies in a most unexpected way. A man who did the advertising layouts for the abortion clinic, such as the one that appeared in the Chicago Yellow Pages, had a falling-out with the clinic management. He knew the clinic disposed of the fetal remains in the dumpster behind the building. To get back at the management, the disgruntled employee first contacted Tom Bressler, who operated a crisis pregnancy center three doors north of the abortion clinic. The clinic’s advertising man thought pro-lifers might wish to retrieve the fetal remains and do some advertising of their own–advertising that would bring negative publicity to the clinic. Tom Bressler called Joe and told him where he could find the bodies.

Week after week, I trekked from Milwaukee to the alley off Monroe Street in the dead of night to find the bodies of aborted babies. My good friend Edmund and I often went together. He and I spent hours painstakingly photographing the broken bodies with our makeshift photography studio set up either in his small apartment or mine. The powerful closeup lenses we learned to use revealed the beauty and poignancy of these fetal humans that no amount of crushing or dismemberment could entirely erase. My eyes could still behold the glory of the human being even in their crushed bodies, a glory traced within them by the creative hand of God. All of those involved with the retrieval believed it was utterly imperative that a photographic record of the aborted babies be made. We literally had in our hands the victims of a holocaust. Millions of preborn human beings had perished already since 1973, and the vast majority would never be seen. We meant for our photos to be a testimony to the humanity of the unborn killed by legalized abortion. We hoped that if we showed the photos to the public or to women headed toward the door of an abortion center, these children might save others. The photographs also were important because they proved that these children actually did live, however briefly, and were killed by a horrendous violence that literally trampled their humanity. The photos documented the brutality they had endured.

Finding the babies in the trash was like coming upon a secret. Most Americans know abortions are legal and that they occur. But for the vast majority, the fetus is a non-entity, something not real. As long as the victims are hidden, abortion remains separate from actual killing. Our photos are meant to shake people into the reality of abortion.

I was now living an unusual life, digging through trash dumpsters on a Chicago loading dock and picking the bodies of human beings out of the trash. I kept boxes of aborted children in my closet draped with a rosary. My mind was now forever etched with the memory of hundreds of torn, crushed, broken bodies–with blood, intestines, and torn skin. I came to know some of those bodies very well since I spent so much time trying to get the photographs just right. I named some of the children. David was the largest whom Andy had photographed in Joe’s garage. I had a five-month-old who, from skin tones and facial features, appeared to be black. He or she was killed by the dilation and evacuation method. Unlike most of the fetal children, the face of this baby was almost entirely intact. The baby’s lower jaw was missing; but except for one eyeball missing from the socket, this was a most beautiful, well-formed face. The eye was missing as the result of the force of the skull being crushed, something the abortionist had to do to remove the head from the womb. The back of the fetal baby’s head was totally caved in. I called this one “Baby Face.”

Perhaps more than the sight of the bodies, the smell of formalin remained in my memory. The aborted babies were packed in a twenty percent formalin solution. The odor was sharp and penetrating; it made my eyes water and irritated my nostrils. Because I often exposed myself to the bodies to photograph them, after a time the inside of my nostrils and sinuses became dry and burnt.

Tim Murphy, Peter Krump, Edmund and I would rendezvous at nine or ten o’clock on a Saturday night at Blackie’s, a bar on the south end of the Loop–a bar popular with young singles. Sometimes earlier in the week Tim would have gone by himself to the Michigan Avenue Medical Center trash dumpster and retrieved a box of babies. One night Edmund, Peter and I sat at a table at Blackies waiting for Tim to arrive. When he did, he walked into the bar carrying a large paper bag concealing the smallish, duct-taped cardboard box that contained the bodies of aborted babies.

He had found the box in the dumpster on Wednesday and brought it to the bar to give it to Edmund and me to photograph the remains.

At first we were humored by Tim’s brazenness. But then, to say the least, we all felt ill at ease with the box sitting on the table in the hip singles bar. I was also struck by something else. Young, attractive men and women professionals drank beer and Screwdrivers, played pin ball, watched sports programs, talked and laughed while in their very midst lay the hidden remains of aborted children. The tragedy of what the box contained clashed so completely with the noisy, rock music-filled, worldly gaiety of this place. The box of aborted babies thrust into the swanky bar was a kind of silent indictment of the sort of world the bar represented–the world so completely oblivious to the rejection of the aborted child

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Pro-Life Group Reports Fetal Remains Found behind Michigan Abortion Clinic

The Citizens for a Pro-Life Society claim to have found medical records and the remains of at least 18 aborted fetuses in the dumpsters behind the Lathrup Village Woman Care clinic operated by Alberto Hodari. Here is the complete article.

Pro-Life Group Reports Fetal Remains Found behind Michigan Abortion Clinic

Michigan officials investigate abortionist’s disposal of patient records and medical waste

By Michael Baggot

LATHRUP VILLAGE, MI, March 25, 2008 ( – The Citizens for a Pro-Life Society claim to have found medical records and the remains of at least 18 aborted fetuses in the dumpsters behind the Lathrup Village Woman Care clinic operated by Alberto Hodari. Both the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Lathrup Village Police Department are investigating Hodari’s Southfield Road clinic.

Dr. Monica Miller, director of the CPLS, organized the dumpster investigations from February 8-March 2.
Describing the fetuses found, Miller stated, “Each one was wrapped in a bloody gauze, tied at the end. Once you turned these inside out, you would find the infant parts. Each bloody gauze that was filled with an infant was wrapped in the absorbent paper used to cover the operating table which was soaked in blood, and used, bloody, latex gloves.”

The CPLS also collected medical records that were given to the police. “By now we have between 200 and 300 patient records with very detailed, identifying information on them about the patients,” said Miller.

“We also discovered in the trash used syringes, ultrasound pictures of the babies, dozens of used drug vials, several used IV bags with the sharps still attached, bloody absorbent paper, open condom wrappers, used condoms, and bloody used laminaria,” added Miller.

Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, wrote that the CPLS investigations of Hodari “have shown the nation that abortionists are not the kind, compassionate people Planned Parenthood and the rest of Big Abortion want you to believe they are.”

“While the Lathrup Village police continue their investigation into this matter, it would be incumbent upon each one of us who claim to be pro-life to do a couple of things about this tragic ‘find,’ especially since we know the same is happening thousands of times every day in facilities all across America,” added Brown.

The Oakland County District Attorney’s Office will likely investigate Hodari for the improper disposal of medical waste and records.

Last week, Hodari displayed new trash bins with red biohazard bags at his Lathrup Village clinic. Hodari claims to have become stricter with employees regarding waste disposal procedures and to have purchased shredders to dispose of patient records. Hodari said that he doubts that any aborted fetuses were improperly dumped.

Hodari came under fire last November for comments made to Wayne State University medical students. In his lecture, Hodari warned students that “sometimes you need to lie to a patient about things that they want to do or know.”

one of the aborted babies found outside this facility

Read the Citizens for a Pro-Life Society’s coverage of the investigation:

See Judie Brown’s coverage of the CPLS Investigations here:

and here:


Note: Local media outlets said only that “medical waste” had been discovered at an abortion clinic- there was no mention of the fact that this “waste” had legs, arms, fingers and toes.

The national news didn’t cover the story at all.

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Human Tissue Found In Sewage Spill Near Abortion Clinic

The article discusses a case where the health department was called in to investigate body parts found in the sewer main near an abortion clinic.

Human Tissue Found In Sewage Spill Near Abortion Clinic: Health Department Investigates

HOUSTON — The Houston Health Department was sent to investigate a sewage spill in north Houston next to an abortion clinic, Local 2 reported.

A broken line caused raw sewage to bubble up out of a pipe and spread across a parking lot next to the Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center, located at 2421 N. Shepherd.

Witnesses said pieces of human tissue were among the waste and were convinced it came from the known abortion clinic.

Maribeth Smith is an employee of the car dealership next door. She is convinced she saw human body parts mixed in with the sewage Tuesday.

“Whether it’s legal or not, it’s not right,” Smith said. “This whole area is nothing but raw sewage and bloody pieces. There were little legs coming out from one side.”

She took photographs, believing the human tissue came from the clinic. She told Local 2 that aborted fetuses are being flushed down the toilet.

When so many clinics have cut corners in the disposal of aborted babies’ bodies, one can’t help but wonder what other medical details are being overlooked.

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A Funeral for “No One”

From the book Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory – an account of a funeral given to thousands of aborted babies rescued from a dumpster outside an abortion clinic. It was written by Monica Miller.

This chapter has been edited due to length.

Chapter Eighteen
The Funeral for “No One”

“To forget murder victims is to kill them twice.”
(Elie Weisel)

. . .

Those involved with the retrievals decided that the best course of action was to obtain as many bodies of the aborted babies as possible and then, after a large number were in our possession, begin the arrangements for their burials. It would have been difficult, very time consuming and expensive to bury bodies every two or three weeks as they were accumulated. Besides, we firmly believed that the babies deserved a real funeral with a real graveside ceremony. We did not want to repeatedly put bodies into the ground when services for them would have been difficult to arrange every time. We were also resolved not to allow the babies to be buried in haste and secrecy as had happened with the bodies from the Michigan Avenue Medical Center.

This time, the burials of the victims of abortion would be well-planned, well-attended, and very well- advertised.
Edmund and I had told John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe about the aborted baby find and that we were in possession of thousands of bodies. In 1986 and 1987, when he worked for Human Life International, John retrieved four hundred and fifty bodies of aborted babies from Washington D.C. abortion centers. John was opposed to mass burials. He believed that each unborn child should be granted an individual burial because the brief period of their lives was not the criteria by which their personhood was measured. Each unborn child was a unique member of the human race, and John wanted to recognize the unique personhood of each of these fetal children and not just have them buried anonymously together. Moreover, John, a former anti-war activist, believed that what we did with the unborn (living and dead) foreshadowed what we would do with the rest of the world in terms of peace. If we buried the babies in mass graves what kind of world violence were we preparing for? What kind of world violence were we willing to accept?

I wanted very much to do what John urged and give each child an individual burial so that each child’s personal existence and humanity could be honored. If I had had only a dozen bodies, or fifty, or a hundred or maybe even three hundred, perhaps it could have been done. We would have found three hundred individual pro-lifers all over the country who would have organized three hundred funerals.

But we had literally thousands of bodies. Edmund and I had retrieved over two thousand of them. Tim Murphy and the other Chicago activists had approximately three thousand. By the time our retrieval efforts came to an end, over 5000 bodies were in need of burial. To communicate with over 5000 pro-lifers and ship the bodies to them was a massive undertaking. It probably meant that we would do no other pro-life work except arrange for the burials of the aborted unborn for months to come. I did not want to be in the funeral business forever.

Edmund and I were set upon one thing, which was a sort of compromise with what John had hoped for. We knew the particular cities where the babies had been aborted and we thought it only right that the babies be buried in the cities where they may have been brought into life and where they certainly had been killed.

We contacted pro-lifers in Raleigh, Fargo, Fort Wayne, Fairfield, and Wilmington. We tried to arrange to have the bodies transported by car to the various cities and states, since we believed that transport through the mail or United Parcel Service was not in keeping with the dignity of the bodies. That is how they had been shipped to the loading dock by the abortion clinic workers. The only bodies shipped parcel post were those killed in Raleigh. In July, 1988, Edmund drove his super Beetle six hundred miles to Philadelphia and gave Joe Foreman, who was living there at the time, two hundred bodies of aborted babies. These bodies were of unborn babies killed at the New Jersey Women’s Health Organization and the Delaware Women’s Health Organization. The bodies were then given to pro-lifers from those states. Not wanting to spend Citizens for Life’s money, Edmund had pawned his guitar to finance his Philadelphia excursion.

The unborn killed in Raleigh by Dr. Marx were buried at a cemetery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The funeral was organized by John Cavanaugh-O’Keefe’s sister, Lucy O’Keefe.

I made arrangements with Charlene Crommit of the Diocese of Fargo’s Respect Life Office to have the Fargo babies transported back there. One hundred and forty unborn babies killed in Fargo, North Dakota were placed in one small infant’s coffin and sent by jet to that city. The transport by jet had been paid for by the Fargo diocese and the small white coffin was met by a representative of the bishop of the Fargo diocese, John Sullivan. The transport by jet had been arranged by Brent Funeral Home in Milwaukee just as the body of any human being is transported for burial. (In hindsight, all of the bodies of aborted babies should have been delivered this way.) In Fargo, Bishop James Sullivan personally led the burial service for the fetal children.

Several years ago, Joe Scheidler and I sat at a table in a Burger King on Clark Street in Chicago. Several other pro-lifers sat with us or at tables nearby. We had been testifying at hearings called by Cook County Board president George Dunne, who sought to end the practice of abortion at Cook County Hospital. There was a break in the proceedings, so our large gang of pro-lifers all traipsed to the Burger King for lunch.

Over burgers, fries and sodas Joe narrated how he witnessed the birth of his second daughter, Annie. As he told the story, Joe’s face sparkled with joy. “After seeing this little life come out of the womb–my own little daughter–I never felt such happiness. I felt like I was levitating. It was then that I realized that to attack an innocent child inside its mother’s womb was the closest thing to killing God.”

Perhaps Joe’s insight was founded in coming to know how abortion attacks what is sacred in man–a sacredness that comes from God. Furthermore, to attack the developing child in his mother’s womb is an attack on the order of God’s creation. Abortion not only kills a human being; it also undoes the bonds of human communion. It is in human unity and the intrinsic inter-relatedness of persons that man knows and experiences God’s own love. God centered the order of creation in the unity of human persons: man and woman, husband and wife, mother and child. Abortion unravels human bonds–indeed wrenches those bonds apart and thus is an attempt to unravel creation.

Just beyond a closed door in my apartment lay the dismembered bodies of unborn children. I began to know their isolation and to understand that the aborted child’s isolation is caused by the triumph of another individual in isolation–the lonely monadic self who must secure its own identity and power by suppressing or annihilating all who threaten to be in relation to it. Here lay these silent bodies in the hands of a stranger in a strange place, who had taken them from a loading dock. They were apart from their mothers. Apart and distant from their fathers. Apart from the towns where they had been conceived. In them I knew the denial of man’s most intrinsic bonds. Roe v. Wade was based on the premise, indeed on the philosophy, that the woman stands alone. Abortion isolates a woman from all other human beings in the world. Under Roe no one–not parents, boyfriend or husband–has any claim upon the woman and her baby. The power needed to accomplish such a radical, ultimate separation between the woman and her child is achieved by the woman’s isolating herself from all others in the world who, inherently, do stand in relation to her. The promoters of legal abortion do tout it as “a private decision between a woman and her physician.” And there is truth in this point of view. The isolated woman necessarily makes a compact with a nameless stranger. Most often, even in legal abortion the woman may not even know the physician’s name and may never have seen him before. Most likely the woman will never see him again. There is no real relation between the abortion-bound woman and the person who will kill her baby. The abortionist is a kind of high priest who presides over a ritual of alienation.

. . .

In June, 1988, Joe Scheidler sat down at a table with Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in a room at the archdiocesan chancery office located on Superior Street in the posh north end of the Chicago Loop. Joe, with other pro-life leaders who attended the meeting, wanted to discuss frustrations the pro-life community had with the diocese and Bernardin’s own lack of hard-core involvement in the anti-abortion struggle. For years Catholics in the archdiocese active in the pro-life cause had felt that they were very much on their own. Few priests provided encouragement; some indeed, were hostile to pro-life initiatives and the archdiocese provided very little institutional Church backing for pro-life activist work. Joe and the other pro-life leaders who attended the meeting hoped to initiate a change. At the meeting, Joe suggested ways Bernardin himself could become more involved. Joe told him there were aborted babies that needed to be buried and asked the cardinal if he would officiate at the burial himself. The cardinal agreed.

On a sunny and warm July 30, 1988, I drove with two friends from Milwaukee to Queen of Heaven cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. We parked the car and walked to the small chapel located in the mausoleum. A hearse was parked in the circular drive outside of the chapel; inside it were two large, beige-colored and exceptionally ornate adult caskets. They contained the bodies of the two thousand aborted babies to be buried that day. We entered the chapel, and I took a seat in a pew near the front reserved for those who had helped take the bodies out of the trash. I saw Joe Scheidler, Tim Murphy, Jerry McCarthy, Brian Pabich and Peter Krump. In another ten minutes the chapel was filled to overflowing, and the funeral Mass soon began. Bernardin was the primary celebrant and the homilist. After the Mass the mourners returned to their cars and followed the hearse through the winding streets of the cemetery until it came to a plot at the extreme west end. The caskets were unloaded from the hearse and placed on transport tables with castors. I and the others who were involved with the retrieval acted as pall bearers to the grave site.

Bernardin was standing near the open ground, and Fr. Coughlin stood near him. Soon six hundred people gathered around to join in the burial ceremony. There were also several TV cameras and photographers and journalists present. Bernardin blessed the ground, blessed the caskets and offered prayers for the dead. In a matter of moments the ceremony was over.

Indeed, everything was perfect. The Mass and burial were marked with the greatest dignity and solemnity. The caskets seemed suitable for royalty. And most important, the burial was public. That day the victims of abortion were not buried in haste and in secret.

Indeed, Bernardin took some flack for officiating at the burial. Colleen Connell of the American Civil Liberties Union who had criticized our on-the-street press conference a year earlier, now criticized the cardinal in a Chicago Tribune story:

He allowed himself to be used in a shameless publicity stunt. It’s one thing for the cardinal to say the Catholic Church is opposed to abortion.

But it’s quite another for him to participate in an action which demeans the personal privacy and integrity of women who may or may not be church members.

Perhaps Connell would have been satisfied if the fetal remains had been left in the trash. She also failed to consider that some women, indeed perhaps quite a few, would be comforted to know that their unborn baby was given a humane burial. Connell also questioned whether laws had been broken by those of us who “provided the fetuses.”

Bernardin told the reporter that he did not ask where the babies had come from and did not know what the legal ramifications might be but stated that “they would pale into insignificance when compared to the taking of innocent human life. I knew what I was doing, and what I was doing was a corporal work of mercy done in a very beautiful religious ceremony.”

[Miller then discusses another burial ceremony]

Prayers were said, hymns sung and then finally the six coffins were placed in the ground. We did not want to leave the actual burial for the cemetery grounds crew. We wanted to bury the babies ourselves to make it a more personal act. A young man lowered himself down into the massive grave. Greg Gesch and another young man passed the coffins down to him. Soon all of the coffins lay at the bottom of this deep, red-earthen hole.

The young man was pulled out. I took one long last look at the coffins below me. We then took turns shoveling the red clay into the grave until it was filled.

Local media coverage was extensive. A huge photo of the burial dominated the front page of the August 6th Tallahassee Democrat. We were stunned and delighted to see it. The photo was exceptionally poignant. It showed the young man in the grave with his arms outstretched to receive a coffin. It was beautiful. The Jacksonville Journal published a well-balanced article with photos–except the headline read “Pro-lifers bury caskets in protest” and stated that we “said [the caskets] contained the remains of aborted fetuses.” The article gave the impression that perhaps we were burying empty coffins!

The next morning one-hundred and thirty-one pro-lifers, including me, blocked the door to the North Florida Women’s Health and Counseling Services. Susan Brindle, Joan’s sister, was arrested as she held her two year old daughter Peggy. Tom Herlihy, Father Robert Pearson, Joe Wall and Ed Martin were also arrested. With sixty other women, I spent two nights in the Leon County jail. In the meantime Edmund and his family, with a small contingent of friends, buried nine of the aborted babies in ground set aside as a cemetery on land the Miller family owned near their home in Lloyd.

When we returned home from our Florida trip, final preparations were made for the burial of aborted babies in Milwaukee. The day of the burial, Saturday, September 10th, was very warm and sunny. The burial was well-advertised. Citizens for Life had sent out a large mailing; and there were two ads in the Catholic Herald, the archdiocesan newspaper, as well as a small ad in the Milwaukee Journal.

The Christian radio station, WVCY, had made several announcements about the burial in the preceding weeks. I expected this funeral to be well-attended.

Edmund and I awoke very early. We placed seven aborted babies in one of the wooden white coffins that he had made. We took these seven out of the whirl-pacs and actually assembled the small broken limbs. They were bodies of aborted babies killed at the Metropolitan Medical Services. Metropolitan occupied a small, two- story modern, non-descript building near the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and 27th St. Its east wall butted up against the west wall of a Marquette University co-ed dormitory. It always bothered me that Marquette as an institution, and the students themselves, seemed oblivious to the killing of the unborn that occurred right next door to them. Years earlier the Christian Radio station, WVCY, had first broadcast from that building. Vic Eliason, the founder of WVCY, was always saddened when he thought of what was going on in the building now. after Metropolitan moved into the building a karate studio rented the second floor but it had long since moved out. Abortions were done in the basement.

Metropolitan was one of the few places that could strictly be called an abortion clinic. Nothing else was done there.

When it first opened, just after the Roe v. Wade decision, three doctors took turns doing the abortions: Neville Sender (born in England), George Woodward and Nathan Hilrich. Without explanation, Hilrich quit doing abortions in 1987. Of the three-man team, Sender was certainly the most committed to the abortion practice, with Woodward a close second. In the late 1980’s both Sender and Woodward were in their mid to late sixties. Sender had boasted in the Milwaukee Journal that he had performed illegal abortions before Roe v. Wade He also shocked pro-lifers when, in reference to abortion, he told the Journal: “Of course we know it’s killing but the state permits killing in certain circumstances.”

. . .

Metropolitan was located in a shabby section of the near-downtown area. It was in an integrated neighborhood with commercial businesses, lots of apartment buildings, and old homes in obvious need of paint and repair. Carol Robbins was one of the most faithful sidewalk counselors at Metropolitan. She could be seen standing in front of the building nearly every day that the abortion center was open. On a warm summer day in 1991, a good-looking young man walked past the clinic. He stopped for a moment to look at Carol’s picket sign which displayed photos of aborted babies in the first trimester. Carol went over to him and gave him some pro-life literature which also showed aborted babies.

The young man looked at the pictures.

“What do you think about that?,” Carol asked him.

“Hum, the man said, “It makes me hungry.”

Three weeks later, on Monday, July 22, 1991, the young man was arrested. When Carol saw the television news clips about his arrest, she gasped. The man was Jeffrey Dahmer who, over a period of thirteen years, had killed seventeen men. He cut up the bodies of his victims, dissolved the flesh, stored the skulls, kept body parts in his refrigerator, and engaged in cannibalism. Dahmer lived in a run down apartment building on 25th Street north of Kilbourn, only two blocks away from Metropolitan.

On the day following Dahmer’s arrest, the Milwaukee Sentinal frontpage headline blasted in larger than usual bold black letters: “Human Body Parts Found in Apartment.”

I was stunned by the headline. It could have been written about me. I thought how ironic it was that I, too, once had in my apartment body parts from human beings who had been killed. The difference, of course, was that I hoped to confer dignity upon those bodies, while Dahmer denigrated the remains of those human beings whom he drugged, used first for his pleasure and then annihilated. The media and then the world was totally appalled by what Dahmer had done and readily exposed his storage of body parts as an atrocity–a further denigration of his victims. If the media had known about the body parts in my apartment, I would have been treated as a pro-lifer with a ghoulish obsession or weird fetish that only a pro-life fanatic like myself could have. To the media the actual victims of the aborted unborn would have been of little or of no consequence at all, since they are not considered persons and it is legal to kill them.

Edmund and I placed the small casket in the back seat of my car and drove the short distance from our apartments to Metropolitan, which was open for business that Saturday morning. We placed the infant’s coffin on the sidewalk a few feet from the door of the abortion clinic. We were not doing this to be vindictive. Edmund and I felt it was important that Sender, Woodward and the abortion clinic workers be confronted by the remains of the human beings they had helped to kill. The victims of Metropolitan had been shipped to a lab where they were literally treated like trash. But when we placed the bodies of those human beings on the doorstep of the abortion center where they had been killed, the abortionists and their workers could not so easily dismiss them. They thought they had shipped them out of the clinic and out of their thoughts–as if these unborn children had never existed.

Edmund stood next to the coffin while I stood on the sidewalk nearby. I held in my arms a duct-taped, tattered box. It was one of the boxes from the Vital Med loading dock that Metropolitan had shipped the fetal remains in.

The initials “MMS” were in the upper left corner of the box with the return address of the abortion clinic.

A police squad pulled into the parking lot; a policeman came out and stood on the sidewalk. A few minutes later, a dark-haired woman, in her early forties and wearing nurses whites, stepped out of the abortion clinic. It was Susan Corrone, the manager of Metropolitan. To pro-lifers she displayed a hard, no-nonsense, humorless personality. I saw her take the few steps over to the little coffin. She bent over slightly and peered for a second at the tiny broken bodies. She shook her head while pursing her lips.

“Nope, those aren’t ours,” she said.

“Oh, yes they are, Susan,” I said as I walked over to her carrying the Metropolitan box.

I stopped several feet from her and pointed to the box.

“Maybe you don’t recognize the babies, but you might recognize the box they were shipped in.”

A puzzled and apprehensive look came over her. She walked over to me and looked at the box closely and saw the return address.

“Well, I think I’ll take that. That’s our property,” she said.

Susan grabbed the box, and she and I tussled over it for a brief second.

“Officer, this woman has clinic property. Tell her to return it,” Susan yelled, now very obviously upset.

She succeeded in wrenching the box from my grasp. The officer came over quickly but seemed confused about what to do. I expected he would immediately set out to take charge and wield his authority.

I explained: “Officer, she says I’m in possession of clinic property; but this was a box that the abortion clinic threw in the trash that contained aborted babies. I took the box and the babies out of the trash.” I then turned to Susan, who had taken a few steps toward the side door of the clinic, looking as if she hoped to whisk herself and the box inside.

I shouted: “Susan it won’t do you any good to take that box. I have more where that one came from.”

To my utter surprise, the officer ordered Susan to give the box back to me. I was not used to police officers siding with pro-lifers.

“I think this is her box now,” he said.

Susan came over and begrudgingly put the box back into my hands.

Several days prior to the aborted babies’ funeral, I had called, Thomas Wiseman, the owner of Brett Funeral Home and asked if he would help us with this burial. Motivated by his Catholic convictions, Wiseman arranged to have six, white child-sized coffins donated by the Milwaukee Casket Company; he also provided the use of three black hearses. On Friday, the day before the burial, Edmund and I and two friends had gone to the funeral home to place the bodies of the twelve hundred aborted babies in the coffins. I felt ill at ease in the small back room where we were escorted to carry out this burdensome task. I felt I had intruded upon a place that was meant to be forever hidden and secret. The back rooms were strange and foreign and pathetically drab. I had been to many funeral homes to attend the wakes of friends and relatives. One sees the elegant furniture, draperies and lush carpeting of the funeral parlors. I fully realized how immersed in death my life had become as I was taken past those outer rooms and into into the stark, gray place where the dead were prepared for burial. I was jarred by the sight of the corpse of a fully-grown man who lay on a gurney against one of the walls of the room. Except for his head he was covered by a clean white sheet. A plastic curtain was drawn, but only partially concealed him.

With care we took the tiny bodies of the aborted unborn out of their cardboard cradles, stained with blood and formalin, and laid them in the the five white coffins–the only other cradles they would ever know.

Now, after Susanne Corrone returned the box to me, I got back into my car and drove to The Brett Funeral Home. A reporter from the Milwaukee Journal and a photographer from United Press International were going to meet me there at 9:30. When I arrived, Patrick Jasperse, the Journal reporter, was waiting for me in the parking lot. The back seat of my Celica was loaded to the brim with empty cardboard boxes from Vital Med; each one bore the return address of the abortion clinic from whence it had come. I wanted the media to see the boxes, if not the actual babies themselves, as proof that indeed we were in possession of aborted babies and that indeed aborted babies were being buried that day. I wanted the victims of abortion to be as real as possible for the press. I showed Jasperse the boxes.

When we entered the funeral home, the five coffins were set out in one of the parlors. Jasperse observed the coffins briefly, made a few notes, shook my hand and said he would see me later at the burial. Soon a very young, short, dark-haired man came into the home toting a camera. The UPI photographer seemed far more interested in the bodies of the children. He took several photos of the coffins laid out in the parlor. I offered to open the lid of one of the coffins because I wanted the press to see the bodies. He said, “yes” that he would like to see them. When I opened the lid of one coffin, filled with hundreds of dark-red, blood-colored whirl pacs, he nearly gasped. This young photo journalist was astonished.

I picked up one of the whirl-pacs and showed him the small feet of an unborn child that were plainly visible through the plastic. He took some photos of the open coffin and then left.

The wake service for the children began at eleven A.M. It was held at Trinity Lutheran Church, which is a Milwaukee landmark–a beautiful, old-style, German- gothic structure. Four tall stained glass windows adorn the sanctuary space. When I entered the church I was struck by the brilliance of the windows, their colors stunning against the church’s dark carved wood. High above the sanctuary was another stained glass window that showed Jesus holding and blessing little children. By eleven o’clock the church was filled with about five hundred mourners. Edmund had brought one of the coffins into the church. With the other fetal remains from Metropolitan, he had placed the largest of the aborted babies we had retrieved from Vital Med–a very well-developed unborn baby killed in the sixth month of gestation. His hands and feet, not yet covered with baby fat, looked like those of an adult but in miniature. Like the very large baby we had retrived from the Michigan Avenue Medical Center, there was nothing to identify who this child was or where he had come from. Edmund placed the open coffin on the bottom step of the sanctuary. Several mourners slowly filed past it. From high in the choir loft in the rear of the church, a beautiful soprano voice rang out a Catholic hymn written for the Lenten season: “O come and mourn with me a while. See Mary calls us to her side. O come and let us mourn with her. Jesus, Our Love, is crucified!” The song continued and the five white children’s coffins slowly were brought into the church and carried up the center aisle. The solemn procession was a step into a new sorrow made manifest in these kinds of burials–a sorrow–until now–the world had not known.
How odd to think that in the five coffins were the bodies of almost three times as many people as sat in the pews. Greg Gesch read Psalm 94:

… Your people, O Lord, they trample down,
your inheritance they afflict.
Widow and stranger they slay, the
fatherless they murder, And they say, “The Lord sees not;
the God of Jacob perceives not.”
Understand you senseless ones
among the people;
and you fools, when will you be wise?
Shall he who shaped the ear not hear?
or he who formed the eye not see?

Pastor Ferdinand Bahr from Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church delivered the sermon based upon Luke 18: 15-17, “Suffer the little children to come to me.” When the service was completed, the coffins were taken in procession out of the church. Edmund carried the small wooden one, and I followed behind. When we left the church, we were bathed in sunlight. The coffins were placed in the waiting hearses.

One hundred cars lined up for a two-mile stretch behind the three hearses. With motorcycle police escorts, the procession slowly wound its way through the streets of Milwaukee. At several intersections, oncoming traffic had to be halted to allow the procession to pass. How ironic, I thought, that now the world had to wait for the babies. A world that was not bothered about them while they lived now had to wait for them to pass in their deaths.

Spectators watched bewildered by the scene. One man standing on a street corner was heard to exclaim, “Man!
Whoever this guy was, he had to be rich!” Another onlooker asked one of the police escorts, “Who died?” The policeman shook his head and answered, “No one.”

Hundreds of additional mourners had gathered at the gravesite. The service began with gospel hymns sung by a black choir from Gospel Lighthouse Church. Father Gene Jakubek, S.J., a priest well known in Milwaukee for his help to the poor, read the gospel and delivered the graveside eulogy. He read from Matthew 25: “I assure you, whatsoever you did to the least of my brothers you did unto me.” Fr. Jakubek told those gathered to continue their fight to end the “holocaust of abortion.”

A woman who stood behind me introduced herself. She said she had had an abortion several years ago. “I’m offering this memorial service for my own baby.”

Msgr. Fabian Bruskewitz, the pastor of my parish, St. Bernard’s, stepped forward and blessed the coffins and the graves with holy water. Years later Bruskewitz would become the bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska.

When the ceremony was over, Edmund and a few other men lowered the coffins into the twelve-by-six foot mass grave. It seemed appropriate that these babies share the same final resting place. Many of them died on the same day, in the same place and at the hands of the same abortionist. The injustice of abortion had woven their lives together. And a mass grave for aborted children stands as a symbol to society.

Local media coverage of the burial was extensive and, for the most part, surprisingly, favorable. The story done by the NBC affiliate was even poignant. The two-minute piece appeared more like a mini-movie than a news story. It was completely void of derisive comments. The reporter acted more like a narrator of the event. The Channel 4 coverage began with the five white children’s coffins being carried into the church. Pastor Bahr was taped giving his sermon and the camera then focused on the faces of some of those in the pews. Two women were weeping. The next shot showed the coffins being placed in the hearses while the church bells chimed their low, solemn tone. A few people who attended the wake service were asked why they had come, and the story concluded by showing the burial service at the cemetery with a voice-over saying “the organizers say they are doing this to promote the sanctity of human life.”

Strangely absent from the story were the expected interviews with Planned Parenthood officials, the ACLU, or abortion clinic workers who would have said that what we were doing was a shameful media circus or that we were violating the rights of women. In all of my pro-life experience, this short piece was the most sympathetic coverage of an abortion-related event I had ever seen.

After the burial, Roseanne St. Aubin from the CBS affiliate station interviewed me at the cemetery. All of the reporters who covered the burial referred to the aborted babies as “fetuses.” They were never called “unborn babies” or “unborn children.” The secular press believes the impersonal word “fetus” is somehow neutral. Roseanne St. Aubin once even referred to the fetal remains as “tissue” when she stated “the organizers [of the burial] would not give details on how the tissues were acquired.” The Channel 6 reporter also stated:

“Migliorino said names of the women who had the abortions were on the bags containing the fetuses but those names were buried along with the fetuses buried today and the group kept no records…

It’s not clear whether members of the group could be or would be prosecuted for the way the fetuses were acquired. Migliorino was not afraid of the possibility.”

I was shown saying: “We performed an act of charity for these children. The wrongness occurred when they threw them in the trash.”

Roseanne St. Aubin’s remark about the possibility of prosecution was prescient. Six months later, on March 23, 1989, I was sent a summons informing me that I was being sued by the National Organization for Women in the NOW v. Scheidler R.I.C.O case. Not only our rescues, but now even our retrieval of aborted babies and their funerals amounted to acts of extortion since these acts allegedly were designed to close down abortion clinics. The fifty-page amended complaint described our retrieval of the bodies as “a ghoulish plot to steal laboratory specimens.” NOW accused us of making threats to reveal the names of the women whose aborted babies we had “stolen.” But we never intended to make their names known, nor did we ever threaten to do so.

It was at this time that the complaint was amended to add Randall Terry to the lawsuit as well as Tim Murphy, Andy Scholberg and Conrad Wojnar. Under a weird theory that Vital Med was in league with us, NOW even named the Northbrook lab as a defendant. Joan Andrews and John Ryan originally were defendants but NOW voluntarily dropped both Joan and John from the lawsuit. The rogue defendant Vital Med was also voluntarily removed. Owned by Dr. Samuel Shih, Vital Med closed soon after the lawsuit was initiated against the clinic. I resented that Vital Med was named as a defendant. Except for the mysterious Vital Med employee, the lab was in league with the abortion clinics, not with us. At one of the depositions I told Vital Med’s attorney, “Your client was throwing the bodies of human beings in the trash. It doesn’t deserve to be a defendant in this case.”

A month after the Milwaukee burial Edmund, Dan Zeidler and I went to the cemetery to take care of some paper work about the gravesite and the placement of the tombstone. We stopped by the babies’ grave to say some prayers. The infant section of Holy Cross is a very special place. The tombstone inscriptions express the great love parents have for their children. One does not find on adult markers the same heart-felt expressions of love, affection and sorrow. The dates on the stones reveal that some of the babies died on the day they were born. Some of the inscriptions read: “Our angel, with us for a moment–with God for eternity,” “Jesus adopted our son–Mommy and Daddy love baby,” “Our treasure lies here,” and “Tread softly–a dream lies buried here.” The stones, like silent sentinels, have frozen into them the sorrow of parental loss.

Ironically, it was among children who were loved, wanted and given names that the aborted babies found a final home. Their grave, larger than the others, and not yet covered with sod, was easy to find. Thirteen silk roses, left by Edmund after the burial, covered the top of the grave. Many of the other children’s graves had small toys placed on them by parents. I was glad to see one left for the aborted babies, a stuffed toy rabbit wrapped in plastic to protect it from the rain. Through the plastic we saw a folded piece of paper fastened to the paw of the bunny with a rubber band. Overcome by curiosity, we carefully unwrapped the toy to investigate.

As Edmund stooped over the grave, Dan and I hovered over him. Edmund unwrapped the note and unfolded it. As I read the note, I began to weep. The note was written in a swirly, feminine hand. It was the cry of a mother to the baby she had aborted:

“Please forgive me and maybe someday I can forgive myself… I’ll always wonder what you would have been, what you would have become. I can’t stop hating myself right now, regretting the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life, wishing I could do it differently now. But I can’t. I will always remember this. It was a tough lesson to have to learn…I pray to God and to you to forgive me so I can go on with my life and I swear to both you and the Lord that I will never ever do it again. Please forgive me so I can let go and go on!”

Edmund refolded the note, bound it back onto the rabbit’s paw and placed the toy back inside its plastic shroud.

The Milwaukee Journal had printed that the “fetuses” were aborted in 1988 at the Summit Women’s Health Organization and Metropolitan Medical Services. The woman’s note seemed to indicate she believed her child was buried in this grave. Her note expressed her sense of having abandoned the baby. She knew this deep within herself. By burying the baby we had returned him to his mother. The burial gave the aborted unborn a human place in the world. In the woman’s letter to her baby, the awful tearing of human bonds caused by abortion knew a more perfect healing.

The woman’s cry was not uttered in vain. On the reverse side of the note someone had written a reply.

“God’s love is the heart of a child. He hopes where we can only despair. Go in peace–you are forgiven. And you must believe this…”

Beyond abortion stands a mother at the edge of her child’s grave. On a lonely day, one woman had come to this site, and her act of love banished the lie of abortion. In her sorrow the order of the world, rooted in human bonds, was affirmed. From out of all the nameless, faceless children buried there, the woman claimed back to herself the one who was her own.

Note: This story was provided by Priests for Life


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Dr. Susan Poppema on What to Do with Aborted Babies

Dr. Susan Poppema performs abortions up until 16 weeks in her clinic. She says that:

“Realistically, the best and safest way medically to dispose of tissue from the uterus is to put it directly into the general sewage system. Waste of every kind, after all, eventually winds up being disposed of in one manner or another, and short of sacred burial rites it is safe to say that disposal of organic matter (which uterine tissue is) is generally a fairly straightforward proposition. The matter leftover from surgery is all natural tissue and blood. Could it be infected? Yes.”

She says, despite this, that it will be safe in the sewer and will not make anyone sick.

She goes on to say:

“So the disposal of human tissue differs not at all from the disposal of any other material. But the obvious problem is presented when considering that the larger pieces of tissue can block disposal pipes.”

Poppema laments that her clinic got in trouble for installing a disposal system. For:

“…The plumber we asked to come and install a disposal system on our premises…went into the room and went to work. But before the work was finished, my colleagues and I found the poor man on the floor literally sobbing at the thought of a disposal system at an abortion clinic.”


The worker was unable to continue. Later, he reported them, and health department got involved. Poppema was indignant, perhaps because she had already gone though the expense of having the disposal installed (a pro-choice woman completed the installation)

Poppema goes on to say

“he [the plumber] might have taken the trouble to ask us….We could then have said to him: “Here, this is a bowl of tissue that has resulted from an abortion operation. It’s tissue not unlike the stuff leftover from any operation. It contains organic material that once was living but now is not living. It was tissue contained in a woman who made a conscious decision that she no longer wanted this tissue in her body. You can feel free to regard this tissue any way you choose. But the fact remains that you have no claim to the tissue, and neither does anybody else in the world except the one woman who was pregnant but who chose not to be pregnant anymore.”

Remember that Poppema performs abortions up until the sixteenth week.

Some pictures of such “tissue” at fourteen weeks 

At sixteen weeks 

Pictures of unborn babies at 14 weeks:

Pictures of unborn babies at 16 weeks.

Susan T. Poppema, M.D. and Mike Henderson. Why I am an Abortion Doctor (New York: Prometheus Books) 1996. p 162-166


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Former Clinic Worker Deborah Henry on Fetal Disposal

“We would take it out of the little sac [the mesh bag that collects fetal remains in a suction abortion] and lay it in the pan. The doctor would then come in and examine it. If he felt that it was adequate enough tissue, we would take the baby, put it into a jar and send it to the lab if the mother had insurance. If she had no insurance, the baby was simply put down the garbage disposal.”

Former clinic worker Deborah Henry

Testimony of Deborah Henry “Meet the Abortion Providers” 1993

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Clinic Nurse Frequently Asked to Baptize Aborted Babies

Abortion clinic nurse Nan Patton Harrison discussed how she would be asked to baptize the aborted fetuses for women having abortions.

“Perhaps it was because of my empathy that they always asked me to do the baptism. It is difficult to do.”

She then goes on to relate the difficulty of finding a small aborted baby among the remains of uterine lining and placenta in an abortion’s aftermath. She describes one ‘baptism:’

“After I baptized the fetus, I flushed it down the hopper.”

Catherine Whitney “Whose Life: A Balanced, Comprehensive View of Abortion from it’s Historical Content to the Current Debate” (New York: William Morrow & Company) 1991 p 205

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Carol Everett on Disposing of Aborted Babies

From an interview with Carol Everett. Everett was involved in the abortion industry in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area from 1977 until 1983. As director of four clinics, owner of two, Ms. Everett was responsible for the clinics daily operation.

Q.: how did you dispose of an aborted baby?

A.: in our clinics, we put them down the garbage disposal. We used heavy-duty model. Some second and third trimester babies muscle structure is so strong, that the baby will not come apart, so they must be disposed of through trash receptacles

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