When she was only 13, Rebecca Kiessling visited the Women’s Pavilion Center in South Bend, Indiana. Kiessling had been the victim of a sexual assault, and her parents brought her to one of the three clinics operated by Dr. Ulrich Klopfer to resolve her crisis pregnancy. Describing her traumatic experience, Kiessling now wonders if her baby was among the 2,200 remains Klopfer stored on his property as trophies.
Kiessling recalled how on the day of the appointment, she was informed only about the clump of cells inside her and how the procedure wouldn’t take long. She received no more consultation than that. Laying on the table, Kiessling heard a loud vacuuming sound, followed by “the most excruciating pain [she] had ever felt.” She screamed in agony as Dr. Klopfer yelled at her to stop making noise, and Kiessling remembered her shock, thinking to herself:
“How could he not care?!”
The abortion took its toll on Kiessling, as she began to hemorrhage on her way out of the clinic. She recalls her experience:
Nobody brought the doctor in – they just hurried me out of the clinic … and the abortion was never talked about again with my family.
Kiessling also battled depression and drug and alcohol abuse after her abortion. After seeking healing from a post-abortive retreat, the news that Klopfer kept thousands of fetal remains as trophies made Kiessling feel “violated all over again.”
Kiessling realized her “child’s dead body was [Klopfer’s] trophy”, describing her grief as “overwhelming.” Communicating with other post-abortive women, Kiessling is calling for an investigation, as well as DNA tests so mothers can locate their babies and give them a proper funeral. Kiessling is also requesting that Judge Sara Evans listen to her story and shut down the abortion clinic in the area to protect women and their babies. But Kiessling had a gentle message for those suffering from post-abortive grief, encouraging them to reach out for “help and healing.”