Who Will Bury the Gosnell Fetuses?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has requested to bury the dozens of fetuses recovered as part of the murder trial of former Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. 

    Archbishop Charles Chaput, leader of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is among those that have requested to bury the remains. In 2011, then Archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali put in a similar request but was informed that the bodies were being held as evidence, according to the Archdiocese.

    "At the conclusion of the trial, Archbishop Chaput renewed the offer to provide a proper burial and we are awaiting a response from the DA at this time," said Kenneth Gavin, communications director at the Archdiocese.

    Gosnell was found guilty last Month of first-degree murder for the deaths of three babies born alive at his West Philadelphia office.

    "We do have space set aside in one of our cemeteries for this purpose and previously collected funds to erect a suitable memorial to these babies," said Gavin.

    Philadelphia's chief medical examiner Dr. Sam Gulino testified in court that he examined 47 fetuses recovered from the clinic run by Gosnell. They were found in various plastic containers, ranging from distiller water jugs to bottles of cat food.

    A "Tweetfest" took place on Friday advocating for the burial of the fetuses. The hashtag #Gosnellbabies was used. It was led by Father Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life.

    @LJDonato tweeted: "Even elephants bury their dead so why can't human babies who were slaughtered B properly buried? A caveman would understand! #GosnellBabies."

    According to the Religion News Service, "Francis Maier, special assistant to Chaput, said that he doesn't know whether or not a service would include a Catholic Mass, but he said it would be quiet and dignified."

    "Gosnell waived his right of appeal on May 15. That will be confirmed as an order of the court on June 15. Thereafter, the Medical Examiner’s Office will have control of the disposition," said city spokesman Mark McDonald.   

    Gosnell was spared the death penalty after a sentencing deal was struck. The former abortion doctor agreed to two life sentences without the possibility of parole. 

    "The legal process is essentially stopped as we wait the 30 day period in which Gosnell in theory could decide to change his waiver of appeal. Once that ends, the medical examiner's office will follow the normal practices."