WASHINGTON — A bill in Congress to require respectful disposition of fetal remains from abortions as well as accountability from the abortion industry “is in keeping with society’s treatment of all other deceased persons,” stated the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee.
In an Oct. 31 letter to lawmakers urging they support the Dignity for Aborted Children Act, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, cited the shocking discovery in September and October of fetal remains in rural Illinois on property once owned by a now-deceased abortion doctor who for many years ran clinics in nearby Indiana.
The remains of 2,246 aborted babies were found in Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer’s home in Will County, Illinois, Sept. 13. The following month additional remains were discovered in various cars Klopfer owned, and on Oct. 11 local authorities said they had determined the remains were of 165 aborted babies, bringing the total number now to 2,411.
Such actions make “people on both sides of the abortion debate uncomfortable, sad, angry,” wrote Archbishop Naumann, who heads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities. Every culture and religious tradition has customs and practices surrounding how to care for and dispose of the dead, he noted in his letter, which was released Nov. 1.
For Catholics, he said, the Church has long taught that “the human body shares in the dignity of ‘the image of God,’ that our bodies are a reminder of the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and of that resurrection, which we too will experience after death, and burying the dead is taught as one of the seven corporal works of mercy.”
The bill would require abortion providers to provide for the final disposition of fetal remains through interment or cremation, consistent with state law on disposal of human remains.
It also requires a consent form so the mother can choose to retain possession of her unborn child or allow the provider to cremate or inter the unborn child.