Thousands of 'abandoned’ patient records found at closed abortion clinics operated by doctor who kept fetal remains
By RICK CALLAHAN
Sep 20, 2019 at 3:07 PM
INDIANAPOLIS — Investigators found thousands of abandoned medical records at three shuttered Indiana abortion clinics that were operated by a late doctor who took home more than 2,200 sets of fetal remains, Indiana’s attorney general said Friday.
No fetal remains were found during Thursday's searches of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer's former clinics and other properties in Gary, South Bend and Fort Wayne, Attorney General Curtis Hill said at a news conference. But he said thousands of patient medical records were discovered, though he didn't give an exact number.
Women getting abortions have "a high degree of expectation of privacy and confidentiality," but the medical records found at Klopfer's clinics, which closed years ago, had simply been "abandoned" there, Hill said.
He said his office hopes to determine why 2,246 sets of fetal remains from abortions performed in 2000, 2001 and 2002 in Indiana ended up in the garage of Klopfer’s home in Will County, Illinois. Klopfer died on Sept. 3 and his widow and her sister found the remains last week and alerted the authorities.
"He certainly was problematic in life and as it turns out he continues to present problems in his death," he said.
Indiana's Medical Licensing Board suspended Klopfer's medical license in 2016 after finding numerous violations, including a failure to ensure that qualified staff were present when patients received or recovered from medications given before and during abortions.
Although Klopfer is dead, Hill said part of his office's investigation will seek to determine whether any other licensed professionals were aware that the remains were moved from Indiana to his Illinois property, and if they had a hand in moving them.
"That's what we're trying to determine — how this happened, who was involved and what if anything we can do about it. And going forward, what can we do to prevent these types of things from happening in the future," he said.
That investigation is complicated by the fact that the abortions occurred nearly 20 years ago and such uncertainties as when the fetal remains may have been moved and what Indiana's laws were at that point in time.