Boise anti-abortion group notes 45 fetuses in Gosnell murder case were named last week by priests

After a jury found Dr. Kermit Gosnell guilty of three counts of murder Monday comes word from Boise’s Karen Simkins that the 45 fetuses found at Gosnell’s Philadelphia clinic have been given names by the New York-based Priests for Life.

In February, I wrote about Simkins and 300 other volunteers who peacefully pray to end abortions during the 40 days of lent and 40 days before the fall election. Simkins is co-facilitator of “40 Days for Life” in Boise and a parishioner at St. Mark’s Catholic Church.

She passed along a blog post from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. Last week, on Ascension Thursday, the group named the 45 fetuses at a ceremony in a Staten Island, N.Y., chapel.

Pavone writes that naming is a key moment in the “journey of healing after abortion” and asks that people pray for the 45, their families, Gosnell and his staff. Priests for Life hopes “to give these children a proper funeral and burial” after receiving permission of the Philadelphia medical examiner.

Pavone’s post includes the 45 names, mostly gender neutral because gender information is not available.

According to the 281-page Grand Jury Report, “In all, the remains of 45 fetuses were recovered at the clinic that evening and turned over to the Philadelphia medical examiner who confirmed that at least two of them, and probably three, had been viable.”


Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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