Ending their unsuccessful two-year struggle to bury 16,500 fetuses, several hundred anti-abortion activists and their supporters held a memorial service in a Monrovia cemetery to honor what one speaker called "these nameless children." The abortion foes, whose plans became ensnarled in a court battle over the separation of church and state, laid a tiny white casket and wreaths of flowers next to a cemetery plot that was marked with a plaque dedicated to "all who were deprived of human love." The furor over what to do with the fetuses--found in February, 1982, at the home of a medical laboratory owner--symbolized the philosophic root of the abortion issue: whether a fetus is a human being. After a series of court rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March against burial.
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