PUBLISHED: Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mourning the unborn

Funeral Mass held in reaction to discovery of fetal matter in clinc's trash; Bishop calls it 'tragedy'

Of The Oakland Press
Before a white casket little more than two feet long, more than 200 people paid their respects to unborn babies during a funeral service Saturday morning.

The crowd filled Farmington's St. Gerald Catholic Church in response to the discovery of medical waste, including some fetal matter, that was found in trash bins behind WomanCare P.C. clinics, including one in Lathrup Village, in early March.

Citizens For a Pro-life Society organized the funeral, with help from the Archdiocese of Detroit. The group claims that the medical waste included remains of 23 different unborn babies.

Bishop John M. Quinn reads from the Bible in front of the casket that contains the bodies of 25 aborted babies found in the trash behind Woman Care Abortion Clinics in Lathrup Village St. at a ceremony at Gerald Church in Farmington.
The Oakland Press/DOUG BAUMAN

During the Mass, Bishop John M. Quinn, of the Archdiocese of Detroit, said the people's presence there was, "evidence that human life is a precious gift and no life is disposable."

"As we look at this tiny casket, you can't help but wonder, 'How do these things happen?'" he said. "What a tragedy it is that the bodies of these babies were considered medical waste."

On March 10, police and hazardous waste crews seized items from the trash bins behind the clinics after Lathrup Village police investigators visited the home of people who said they had evidence that medical waste was being improperly disposed.

More than 200 people gathered Saturday at St. Gerald Catholic Church in Farmington for a funeral to offer prayers and pay respects to unborn children. The funeral Mass was organized by Citizens for a Prolife Society and was presided over by Bishop John M. Quinn of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The Oakland Press/DOUG BAUMAN

At the time, Sgt. Vincent Lynch said pathological waste was found, which can be human organs, tissues and body parts. Police said fetal matter and bloody surgical pads were also removed from the trash, in addition to medical records.

At Saturday's Mass, those in attendance prayed for an end to violence, all injury to human life and an end to abortion clinics. They prayed for women who get abortions, men who encourage it, and the doctors who perform them, as well as legislators who make decisions regarding the procedure.

In acknowledging the battle between the two sides of the abortion issue, Quinn said: "The world wants us to go in a different direction, but we can't go there."

He said the presence of the people who attended the funeral service meant they, "live with courage."

"We go forward with the conviction that every human life is a gift," he said.

Borek Jennings Funeral Home provided arrangements and led the funeral procession to Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield when the Mass ended, just before noon.

Quinn asked that God provide the unborn babies with love they didn't find on Earth.

"May they be wrapped in God's mercy," he said.

Contact staff writer Jacquelyn Gutc at (248) 745-4687 or