Abortion opponents press Philadelphia for remains of ‘Gosnell babies’

    The trial is over, and Kermit Gosnell is serving life sentences for delivering and then killing three babies. But a coalition of abortion opponents is still at odds with Philadelphia’s medical examiner’s office over a dispute tied to the now imprisoned doctor.

    The group is renewing its pleas with the city for the remains of those three babies, as well as several dozen fetuses, found frozen in Gosnell’s clinic in 2010.

    Michael McMonagle, president of the Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania, and others have organized protests and vigils, saying they want to hold a “proper” burial for the remains, one that includes a service and ceremony.

    “It would treat them with dignity,” said McMonagle, adding that state law allows interested third parties to take unclaimed remains.

    McMonagle joined about two dozen others to pray outside the medical examiner’s office Monday. They held signs with symbolic names for the fetuses.

    “Here we have the opportunity to bury 47 of those victims. We don’t get that opportunity every single day,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Students for Life of America.

    In a statement, the city examiner’s office said it has received multiple requests from unrelated parties, but won’t be releasing the remains to any of them. The office is in the process of arranging a “proper and respectful disposition” of the remains.

    Hawkins, McMonagle and others say they plan to continue pressing the city and the mayor on Philadelphia’s policy.

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