Human Interest

The story of Clementine’s abortion went viral. Now her father’s fighting to give her a funeral

human-fetus-20-weeks, pro-life, abortion restrictions

Thomas Kearns wants nothing more than to bring his baby girl Clementine home. He said she was 20 weeks old and tucked inside her mother’s womb when she was killed by abortion in March. Now Kearns, who had no power to save her, is on a mission to be a voice for fathers who want to protect their preborn children and to give Clementine the respect of a funeral.

Fighting for her life

Two months and one week ago, Kearns knew next to nothing about abortion. Now it’s all he can think about. It was just over two months ago that Kearns said an abortionist dismembered his daughter Clementine alive at 20 weeks. Last month, Kearns attended an event at which Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins was speaking, and a video of him sharing the story of Clementine went viral. Now he’s telling more of the heartbreaking truth of his daughter’s death and what he’s doing about it.

“I would have done anything for my child,” Kearns told Live Action News. “And I’m still trying, and she’s been ripped apart.”


Kearns said that when his long-distance girlfriend told him she was pregnant a couple of months after they began dating, he was happy. However, he said she told him that she was considering an abortion, and after some back-and-forth, including him begging to save his child’s life, Kearns relented.

Rather than an abortion facility, the couple walked into a pregnancy resource center, and after discussing the options with the counselor, they were asked if they wanted to hear their baby’s heartbeat or hold a model that was the size of their baby at that current stage of development. That’s when everything changed for Kearns.

“Once I saw her on the screen, once I held her in my fingers — ‘Nope, that’s a living thing. I want to keep my baby. I don’t want them to die,'” recalled Kearns. He learned that the baby was the size of a “strawberry” — about 10 weeks.

Kearns said he left the pregnancy center that day knowing that he wanted to raise his child, and for two weeks, he and his girlfriend were at peace with that decision. He said they discussed baby names and had fun together. But soon, while some days were happy, he explained that others were tainted with arguments over abortion.

“Sometimes she wanted to have the baby. Sometimes she didn’t,” he said. “Sometimes I had to beg her to keep the baby alive — cooking for them, singing to them. We took road trips. We went to Disney, met [the baby’s] cousin. There are beautiful memories there too. [Our] relationship was beautiful. Everything was going to be okay.”

Kearns explained that he doesn’t believe Clementine’s mother was in the right frame of mind when she ultimately made an appointment for the abortion that would end their child’s life, and he believes abortion workers took advantage of her vulnerability. She was confused, he said, and worried about how the future would go.

Kearns said he was frantic when he learned about the abortion appointment after arguing for months over abortion. He explained that he, his sisters, his brother, his mother, and her mother each begged her not to abort the baby. It seemed their efforts paid off when she finally told Kearns that she had canceled the appointment.

READ: Born weighing just 14 ounces, premature baby heads home from hospital

Then in mid-March 2024, Kearns learned that his sister and niece were in a car accident, and he told Live Action News that he traveled with his mother to check on them a few states away. As he drove, he struggled to get in touch with his girlfriend. It wasn’t unusual, he said, because there were days when they spoke and days when they didn’t between arguments and since the relationship was long distance. But when she finally called him back on March 14, they had a good conversation, he said. On the 15th, however, she gave him the devastating news that she had experienced spotting, and that after her mother had taken her to the hospital for examination, she learned that their baby had died.

The news shattered Kearns, but he was also skeptical. The following day, March 16, he begged Clementine’s mother for the truth about what had happened to their child. He told Live Action News that she admitted to him that she had undergone the second-trimester, D&E dismemberment abortion three days earlier. She immediately regretted the abortion.

“While I’m playing with my niece, my daughter dies,” he said. “I didn’t know that though.”

According to Kearns, Clementine’s body had been ripped apart while she was still alive, and afterward, sold for parts to a research facility on the West Coast. He said Clementine’s mother had already begun to regret her decision the second she had pulled into the facility parking lot and saw pro-life activists, but she thought it was too late to cancel the appointment. He told Live Action News that she told him she “didn’t even feel like a person,” that she “immediately regretted the decision” and that she “hated herself after” the abortion.

“I tried everything [to stop the abortion] as a father, as a family, [talking about Clementine] as a daughter, as her own person,” said Kearns. “I tried logic, ethics, biology. It didn’t matter. Yelling, screaming, crying, begging, beautiful things, happy things too, nice things, gentle things, passionate things. It didn’t matter, nothing mattered in the end.”

Finding Clementine

Within two days of learning that his baby was killed in an abortion, Kearns said he began calling the abortion facility where he said Clementine was killed — Cherry Hill Women’s Center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey — to ask about getting Clementine’s body back. But he said the facility, which has a history of injuring women and a host of negative reviews, offered no assistance to him or Clementine’s mother. He also said they were told by staff there was nothing that could be done and that they had no logs of where Clementine’s body was sent.


“The way that Clementine died was so gruesome,” Kearns said. He added, “They crushed my daughter’s skull, brain, mind, her beautiful thoughts, her beautiful dreams, her future, our future. They ripped her to shreds, not like a butcher. These are wolves that tore my daughter apart while she fought. I’m a fighter. I’m fighting for my daughter. I know my daughter fought for her life. I know she was suffering, I know she was trying to get away from the tools.”

Kearns told Live Action News that he wants Clemetine’s body back in any way that he can get her so that he can give her a funeral. Though he said Clementine’s mother gave him permission to access her medical records and speak to the staff at Cherry Hill, he has been unable to find out who has Clementine’s body or what they are using her body for. He said he is haunted by the idea that her body is being used in science experiments like the one run by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, in which the scalps of babies aborted between 18 and 20 weeks were attached to mice. It’s a darkness no parent would want to face and he is fighting to save Clementine from such a fate.

Kearns also wants to create Clementine’s Garden as a monument to his daughter and a special place for them to share, ensure fathers get a say in abortion decisions, see an end to the research carried out using babies’ bodies, and ultimately, end abortion. He wants the world to know Clementine, to love Clementine, and to remember her. He has other big dreams for Clementine because, he said, he knows she would have made a difference in her life and that she still will. “I’m going to make sure of it every day. She will live as long as I live,” he said.

He also spoke about the deep pain he feels over the loss of Clementine. “This is every second of the day. I cry in public. I feel so small. I have no voice. It’s like I was invisible. I was screaming but nothing was coming out. I didn’t matter. Clementine didn’t matter. Now, I’m not mad anymore. It’s evolved into: ‘You hurt my family. You tormented my baby, hurt the mother of my child.’ … There’s no getting better after abortion. This is the rest of your life.”

Editor’s Note 5/22/24: This article has been updated with corrections regarding timeline and relationship details.

Editor’s Note: If you are experiencing abortion regret or trauma, help is available

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30 seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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