Memorial Service Planned for 16,500 Aborted Fetuses

From Associated Press

A memorial service will be held for 16,500 aborted fetuses that are the focus of a legal battle between county supervisors and a feminist group over their disposal, singer Pat Boone said Monday.

Boone said a recording of his new song, “Sixteen-Thousand Faces,” will be played at Sunday’s “American Holocaust Memorial” at Live Oak Memorial Park in Manhattan Beach.

“I sympathize with young women who find themselves with unwanted pregnancies,” Boone said at a news conference in his West Hollywood office. “But compassion has to extend farther than the woman--and to the most innocent of victims.”

Susan Carpenter McMillan of Feminists for Life said, “The service will be a peaceful, dignified interfaith tribute and will not be a protest or demonstration.”


Boone Won’t Attend

Boone said he will be unable to attend the memorial because of another engagement.

The fetuses and medical records were found in February, 1982, in a storage container at the Woodland Hills home of the owner of a closed Santa Monica pathology lab, said Rosa Martinez, spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU represents the Feminist Women’s Health Center in the disposal issue.

The fetuses had been turned over by various area hospitals for routine pathology tests as required by law, Martinez said Monday.


The pathology lab, however, had failed to dispose of them by burial or incineration as required, apparently because of a lack of money, she said.

No Charges Filed

A hold was placed on the fetuses by the district attorney’s office to determine if they constituted evidence of criminal conduct in the abortions, but no charges were filed, Martinez said.

“What remained was how to dispose of the fetuses,” she said.

Anti-abortion groups, including the Catholic League of Southern California, filed suit seeking to bury the fetuses in non-religious ceremonies.

Last December, the state Supreme Court ruled that such services were not provided for by law, Martinez said.

Supervisors Act

The county Board of Supervisors recently passed a motion introduced by Supervisor Mike Antonovich, an abortion opponent, that would require the fetuses to be buried rather than incinerated.