Medical Examiner denies Priests for Life request to bury Gosnell victims: Fr. Pavone urges action

John Jalsevac

Document Publication:

June 06, 2013

STATEN ISLAND, NY, June 6, 2013 ( – The Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office has denied a request by the pro-life group Priests for Life to obtain the bodies of dozens of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion and infanticide victims to give them a proper burial.

In response, Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, is urging pro-life activists to contact the Medical Examiner’s office to urge them to change their mind.

“We need to act today, because at any moment, for all we know, these babies could be burned or thrown away as garbage,” said Pavone. “We simply don't know what they intend to do with them.”

When investigators raided Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” clinic in 2010, they were shocked to find the mangled bodies of some 47 babies frozen and stored in a variety of containers, including milk jugs, cat food cans, and even a cherry lime-ade container.

Gosnell kept the bodies of his victims in the clinic after falling behind in his payments to the medical waste company that normally collected them for disposal at a landfill. A detective involved in the case has said he believes that there are even more bodies of babies in the basement of the clinic.

In May, as the Gosnell jury deliberated, Priests for Life held a memorial service in which they gave the children names. At around that time the organization also requested the bodies for burial.

"The nation was stunned to learn how Dr. Gosnell killed these children,” said Pavone. “Now we have an opportunity to treat them better, by at least honoring their bodies with a proper funeral and burial."

But in the wake of the Medical Examiner’s decision Pavone said “people across the country," including family of the victims, are wondering why the babies cannot be properly buried.

"And, of course,” he added, "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?"

Pavone said 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."

Contact information:

Sam P. Gulino, MD, Chief Medical Examiner

 David Quain, Forensic Services Director

 321 University Avenue

 Philadelphia, PA 19104


 215-685-9465 (fax)

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: