STATEN ISLAND, NY -- Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued a statement today in regard to the 45 babies whose mangled bodies were retrieved during a 2010 raid on the abortion clinic of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who is now serving multiple life sentences for the murder of three of those children. The bodies of the 45 children have been in the possession of the Philadelphia Medical Examiner during the course of the various legal proceedings against Dr. Gosnell.
"In April, we requested permission from the Philadelphia Medical Examiner to bury these children," Fr. Pavone stated. "The nation was stunned to learn how Dr. Gosnell killed these children, and then stored their bodies in cat food containers and freezers. Now we have an opportunity to treat them better, by at least honoring their bodies with a proper funeral and burial."
Fr. Pavone's request for the bodies received wide publicity as the trial entered its final weeks. As the jury deliberated, Priests for Life held a service in which these 45 children were given names.
Now, however, through a letter from the Medical Examiner, Priests for Life is being told that the bodies "will not be released to any third party organization."
"People across the country are now asking why. Pro-life as well as pro-choice people, citizens and their political leaders, and even relatives of the babies, want to know why we cannot give these children a proper burial," Fr. Pavone explained. "And, of course, the other big question is, What is the state going to do with these babies? Will they be thrown in the garbage as medical waste? Will they be burned?"
Priests for Life has asked the public to direct these questions to the Medical Examiner's office in Philadelphia, and is appealing to state and federal officials to intervene. "If there was so much outrage over how Dr. Gosnell treated these children, shouldn't there be outrage as to how the rest of us treat them now?"
Priests for Life intends to hold a national funeral service for the Gosnell babies, whether or not the bodies can be obtained. "This is the least we can do, given the humanity of these children and the inhumanity with which they were treated," Fr. Pavone said. "People were rightly upset by the Gosnell case; this will be a way to bring some closure to the experience and let the healing begin."
For more information, see GosnellBabies.com.
Click here for Fr. Frank's full statement
Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.