PHILADELPHIA, July 19, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office reiterated today that it will not be releasing the bodies of Gosnell's victims to any third party for burial. Instead, the office will cremate the remains.
After noting that his office had “received multiple requests for third-party organizations to claim the remains from the Women’s Medical Society Case,” Jeff Moran, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Health Department, told a local NBC affiliate on Friday afternoon, “The City has determined that these remains will not be released to any unrelated third party.”
On Friday, the office locked out a group of 50 pro-life activists – including Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, and Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition – who attempted to hand deliver a letter requesting the remains.
According to local media, two police officers also blocked the doorway.
Fr. Pavone, who had named the children during a ceremony in May, hoped he would be able to bury the children who were killed inside Gosnell's West Philadelphia “house of horrors.” The Archdiocese of Philadelphia had also reached out to the Medical Examiner and had dedicated room in a cemetery for the children's burial.
Moran said the Medical Examiner's Office “is in the process” of making arrangements to give the aborted babies “a proper and respectful disposition” that is “in accordance with our standard practices.”
Standard operating procedure would call for the babies bodies to be cremated.
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Bryan Kemper of Stand True Ministries told LifeSiteNews.com that the pro-life leaders will respond with an August 25 prayer vigil, called The Cry for Dignity. The day after the vigil the activists intend to engage in peaceful civil disobdience outside the Medical Examiner's building. According to Kemper, at least 25 activists will kneel down in front of the doors of the Medical Examiner’s building on the Monday morning, each holding a sign with the name of one of Gosnell’s victims.
“We will not leave, until they release them, or arrest us,” he said.