Frederick Everett
Family & Pro-Life Office
September 16, 2016 // Local

Klopfer era comes to a close

Frederick Everett
Family & Pro-Life Office

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades expressed his gratitude for the work of the Apostolate od Divine Mercy during a Sept. 4 prayer service. “I thank God for the closing of the abortion clinic in South Bend. We can never underestimate the power of prayer, especially the Mass and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I am very grateful to all of you who have spent, and continue to spend, time in prayer in the Divine Mercy Chapel for the cause of life.” At the conclusion of his homily, Bishop Rhoades surprised the apostolate by entrusting it to the care and intercession of St. Teresa of Calcutta. Bishop stated: “The work you do is a work of charity and mercy. I pray that St. Teresa will inspire you to serve Jesus in the poor and vulnerable, including the most vulnerable in our society, the innocent unborn.”

By Frederick Everett

With the suspension of Dr. Ulrich Klopfer’s medical license in the early hours of the morning of Aug. 26, three decades of killing tens of thousands of unborn children at clinics in Fort Wayne and South Bend came to a resounding end. After more than 15 hours of deliberation, the state medical licensing board found Klopfer guilty of five charges made by the Indiana Attorney General’s office. Among these were the failure to report abortions performed on children under the age of 14; failure to give informed consent at least 18 hours prior to an abortion procedure; and failure to meet professional competency standards.

In particular, according to Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, many of the board members were particularly struck by Klopfer’s nonchalant attitude regarding the case of a 10-year-old girl who had been raped by her uncle. The doctor failed to notify the police even after learning that the parents were going to keep the matter secret. One board member stated that what bothered her most was  Klopfer’s striking lack of medical judgment and competence.

In truth, none of this would ever have come to light were it not for the prayers and efforts of numerous pro-life individuals and organizations working within the diocese. For example, many cases in which surgical or chemical abortions were being performed without the state-required counseling, informed consent and waiting periods would not have come to light were it not for sidewalk counselors or counselors at the Women’s Care Center who actually interacted with the women seeking or procuring the abortions.

For years, both Allen County Right to Life and St. Joseph County Right to Life would notify the Indiana State Department of Health and the Attorney General’s office with allegations of impropriety and illegality with seemingly little result. Then, in 2013, Indiana Right to Life founded the Enforcement and Regulatory Oversight Committee, headed by Cathie Humbarger of ACRTL, which unified the efforts of the right-to-life organizations where Klopfer performed abortions. Together, they filed over 1,800 complaints.

Even then, movement by state agencies was slow but showing increasing promise. With new leadership in state government, Jeanette Burdell of SJCRTL began to see a difference.

“Here is where God’s timing is evident. In 2013, someone listened. Thanks to the foundation laid by Indiana Right to Life in helping elect good pro-life candidates like Gov. Pence and Attorney General Zoeller, government officials started enforcing the laws. The evidence and complaints were only as valuable as the authorities who would act on them. Because of the politicization of abortion, it is nearly impossible to close abortion facilities, and even harder for an abortionist to lose his medical license. As an answer to prayers by the many fervent prayer warriors, all these activities and parties aligned at the same time. The process that began in motion in 2013 took persistence and patience as the legal process played out.”

In 2014, Shawn Sullivan of The Life Center in South Bend also became involved in the legal process against Klopfer:

“Prior to Black Friday of 2014, TLC and their advocates were not part of any legal proceedings related to Dr. Klopfer. Instead, TLC’s activities focused on reaching out to mothers as they entered the abortion clinic and offering them legal, financial, or medical assistance, adoption, and even protection and immediate housing if they were being forced to have their abortion. TLC considered itself the emergency room of the crisis pregnancy business.

Over 200 volunteers, supporters and families attended a Sept. 4 celebration and prayer service with Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades for the Apostolate of Divine Mercy. Attendees were encouraged to get involved in helping to save lives, assist families and create a culture of life. Opportunities for prayer at The Life Center include Mass every Tuesday at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. during the 40 Days for Life campaign. Adoration is every Tuesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Wednesday from 2-7 p.m.

“The five-to-10 second spiel of the TLC advocates to mothers entering the Women’s Pavilion was the last opportunity to convert a mother from her decision to go forward with her abortion appointment and choose life for her child instead. That all changed, however, on Black Friday, 2014, when a mother, being offered assistance told the TLC advocates that she would like to consider their offer of help but that she had already taken the abortion pill. We all looked at each other stunned. ‘Isn’t this your first visit, though?’ we asked the mother. She said yes, but that Dr. Klopfer had already given her the medical abortion pill.”

Upon hearing word that the state medical licensing board had finally suspended Klopfer’s medical license, Sullivan summed it up by exhaling and saying, “It is finished.” Humbarger and Burdell, both of whom were actually at the hearing into the wee hours of the morning, felt a certain satisfaction, but also had a mix of emotions. Writing immediately after the event at 3 a.m., Humbarger shared these thoughts:

“While there is some satisfaction in seeing the career of an abortionist come to an end, it is a very sad tale.

“Abortionist Klopfer told the board members in his testimony today that he and his family escaped from East Germany when he was a child and they spent some time in a refugee camp. They immigrated to the U.S. and after finishing high school and college he entered medical school and ultimately became an ob-gyn. Almost immediately he began his career as an abortionist and has performed abortions for over 40 years. Best estimates put the total number of abortions he has performed at well over 50,000….

“This is a sad tale of an immigrant with a bright future ending up in the latter years of his life in this way. While I am glad his nefarious deeds have stopped, I cannot rejoice. There is not victory here for the thousands of preborn boys and girls who never had a birthday, or their mothers who are now the mothers of dead babies. There is no victory for a broken old man who has wasted a wonderful career and there is no victory for those of us who have invested our hearts and souls over years bringing him to justice.

“May God receive all the glory for whatever glory there is in this heartbreaking story. Please join me in committing to pray for the eternal salvation of Ulrich Klopfer. ‘It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’ (Hebrews 10:13).”

Burdell shared her emotions as well: “I was extremely relieved that this chapter, as it appears in all likelihood, has been closed. I am so incredibly grateful to God that He has answered the prayers of our pro-life communities. And I am encouraged that justice still exists, even though it sometimes takes painstaking labor and patience in bringing it about.”


Apostolate of Divine Mercy celebrates four years of combating culture of death

For millions gathered in Rome, the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a day of celebration for the life-changing, yet simple acts of mercy from one Missionary of Charities nun. For more than 200 people in South Bend, that same day, Sept. 4, was also a day of celebration for the fourth year of service by the Apostolate of Divine Mercy in service of life, marriage and family. The apostolate seeks to replace the culture of death with a civilization of love, by making visible the Divine Mercy of Jesus through public witness, worship, service and education; and to promote marriage and family through prayer and evangelization initiatives.

Director Shawn Sullivan welcomed the crowd to the prayer service and celebration by stating that it was quite providential that the birthday of the apostolate and the canonization of now- St. Teresa of Calcutta fell on the same day, because she was the model that the apostolate sought to emulate.

“Mother Teresa had a fervent focus on silence and prayer. That’s where we started,” he said. Volunteers for the apostolate spend time in Eucharistic Adoration at the chapel located at The Life Center, which houses the apostolate’s activities and ministries.

Sullivan continued: “If you sit with Jesus, desiring to be transformed, you are going to be transformed. That’s what renders you ready to serve like Him, and that’s where The Life Center and the apostolate have visible fruits. We were willing to go to the streets and witness that Divine Mercy to the mothers and other entering the abortion clinic. We didn’t judge anyone: As Mother Teresa said, ‘If you are busy judging someone, you don’t have time to love them.’”

The Apostolate of Divine Mercy is seeking volunteers for over a dozen ministries and prayer opportunities. More information can be found at or by calling 574-286-7860.




* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.