Warning: This article contains a graphic abortion photo.
A solemn prayer service in honor of the 13 aborted babies buried in the children’s section of Resurrection Cemetery, Mendota Heights, Minn., was conducted by Pro-Life Action Minstries on Saturday, September 14. This memorial service was part of the first annual National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children, co-sponsored by Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, Priests for Life and the Pro-Life Action League. Memorial services were conducted at gravesites across the country (there are 42 in the U.S), as well as at dozens of other sites dedicated in memory of aborted children. The date of September 14, 2013, was chosen for the event because it marks the 25th anniversary of the burial of several hundred abortion victims in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The 13 babies buried in Resurrection Cemetery were found in the trash dumpster behind the Robbinsdale abortion center in Robbinsdale, Minn. on January 13, 1987. Pro-Life Action Ministries made this grisly discovery known to Minnesota and the nation through a press conference, followed by a funeral and burial for these precious babies. “By being here today, we remember that with every abortion there is a tiny, broken body as these little children, made in the image and likeness of God, are brutally killed,” said Brian Gibson, Executive Director of Pro-Life Action Ministries. “And we remember that the parents of these children go on to suffer greatly for the abortion they participated in, greatly needing the mercy and forgiveness of God.” Brian was on the staff of Pro-Life Action Ministries when the babies were found 26 years ago. He encouraged the 70 attendees of the memorial service to continue to go out on their own to the grave-site to pray.
Also speaking at the memorial service was Keith Rischer, RN, the man who found the bodies. He recalled how he had been sidewalk counseling outside the Robbinsdale abortion center and wondered what they did with the bodies. A few days later, he removed the trash bags from the unlocked dumpster, brought them to his garage and started going through them. Horrified by finding the bodies on bloody medical pads among the trash, he contacted Pro-Life Action Ministries. He commented that one of his daughters, born about the same time as these babies were found, now has two children of her own. These 13 babies would now be young adults and some would probably also be parents.
Br. Paul O’Donnell, co-founder of Pro-Life Action Ministries, described the impact the discovery of the bodies had on him. He also read from a January 17, 1987 article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch in which columnist Nick Coleman described the press conference held at the Pro-Life Action Ministries office: “On Wednesday, grim-faced reporters and photographers stared at little arms and legs and assorted other parts of three aborted fetuses that were spread out on a table for their convenience. One fetus, five inches long, was intact except for its head, which had been laid nearby for the edification of TV viewers who later saw tape of the press conference. (Editor’s note — although media coverage was extensive, only the independent Channel 9 station actually showed the bodies.) Reporters also were led to a van that held parts of nine other fetuses . . . It was a gruesome scene. . . . (Note — the funeral home discovered the small, 13th victim while preparing the bodies for the funeral and burial).
As a final act of dignifying the lives of these 13 human beings, Br. Paul revealed that he had named them: Brian Joseph, Michael Allen, Jeffrey Joseph, Jenifer Lynne, Mary Katherine, Dawn Marie, Christine Diane, Peter James, Mary Agnes, Mary Louise, Mary Alice, Mark Anthony and Paul Joseph.
Reading Scripture at the Memorial Service were Debra Braun (also on staff of Pro-Life Action Ministries when the bodies were found) and Rev. Brian Walker, Program Director of Pro-Life Action Ministries. Leading in prayer was Rev. Fred Thoni, pastor of Elmwood Evangelical Free Church and a long-time associate of Pro-Life Action Ministries.