A few days ago, police in the Washington, D.C. area recovered the bodies of five aborted unborn children from the house of a pro-life activist. According to the members of the pro-life group Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), they were given the bodies by a driver working for a waste management company that services Washington Surgi-Clinic, an abortion facility in D.C.
In an interview with The Pillar, two of the members of the group, Lauren Handy and Terrisa Bukovinac, recounted how they arrived at the facility on March 25th – the Feast of the Annunciation, which is also the International Day of the Unborn Child. They were planning on sidewalk counseling, as well as trying to enter the facility to hand out roses to the pregnant women inside.
When they arrived, they saw a truck for the waste removal company, Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services, parked outside, with the driver loading boxes into it. According to the women’s account (which, for the record, is disputed by Curtis Bay), they went up to the driver and asked him, “Do you know what’s in these boxes?”
When he said no, they said, “It’s dead babies.”
The driver was clearly shocked, said the women. They then asked him if they could take one of the boxes. When he asked what they would do with it, they said they would give the children a proper burial. The driver agreed and handed over the box.
Upon taking the box home, they called a Catholic deacon, and acquired medical gloves and other supplies. When they opened the box, they found small containers with the remains of 110 aborted children. “It’s babies, it’s full of babies,” Bukovinac recalled Handy saying at the time.
However, there were also five much larger containers in the box. These contained the remains of five late-term children. The first body they took out was fully formed, estimated to be at around 30 weeks gestation.
He was just the most beautiful baby boy and we just lost it in that moment. We were just all kind of holding on being strong, trying to get through this. And then this was just completely shattering emotionally. We were weeping, we were cursing the people that did this to him. It was just soul crushing, to experience.
Five Late-Term Children
Live Action News has published photos of the bodies of the five late-term children. I should warn you that the photos are extremely disturbing. One glance is enough to demolish once and for all the diabolical lie peddled by abortion advocates that an unborn child is simply a “blob of tissue,” or is in some way not fully human.
The most noteworthy thing about the body of the first child is that it was fully intact. This likely means that the little boy was aborted using an “induction” method. That is, the abortionist used drugs to induce labor in the child’s mother, causing her to give birth prematurely.
Typically, prior to inducing labor, the abortionist will kill the unborn child using a lethal injection to the heart of a drug called digoxin. However, there have been cases in which the abortionist has either skipped this step, or the lethal injection has not worked, leading to children being born alive.
In the late 90s, a nurse by the name of Jill Stanek testified that while working at a hospital in Illinois she had witnessed aborted children being born alive and left to die in a utility room. In The Pillar interview, Handy and Bukovinac claim that the abortionist at Surgi-Clinic, Cesare Santangelo, doesn’t use digoxin “because it’s expensive and he’s lazy.” For this reason, they are calling for an investigation to see whether the little boy was born alive.
Another of the children was also perfectly intact, still contained in the unruptured amniotic sac. The other three, however, had suffered various brutal injuries. Two of them were completely dismembered, with intact body parts recognizable. The last child, a girl, was missing the back of her skull as well as her brain.
The two women speculate that the last child was a victim of an illegal partial-birth abortion. In a partial-birth abortion, labor is induced. Once the child’s body protrudes from the mother, the back of the child’s skull is crushed, and the brains are vacuumed out. Partial-birth abortion was outlawed by the 2003 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban.
Dr. Kendra Kolb, a neonatologist, told Live Action after viewing the photos, “it is beyond horrific and devastating for me as a Neonatologist to see these images, as these babies are representative of the very same patient population that I care for. To then see these discarded aborted babies, and even try to imagine what they went through during these horrific abortion procedures is infuriating and devastating beyond words.”
Dr. Robin Pierucci, a neonatal specialist, told Live Action News: “I can say with confidence that these babies died at an age when they were viable, premature people.”
Calls for Investigation
The same day police removed the bodies of the children from Handy’s apartment, they also charged Handy and eight other pro-life activists for having “obstructed access” to an abortion facility in 2020. The charges were related to a “rescue” during which Handy and the other pro-life activists entered the abortion facility and chained themselves to furniture, while trying to convince women who were present not to abort their children.
The activists are charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act), which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. If they are convicted, they face up to eleven years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
The brutal irony, then, is that the activists who were trying to save children from a terrible death may end up in prison, while the abortionist who perpetrated these unspeakable atrocities against the children whose bodies Handy and Bukovinac discovered will be protected by law.
In the interview with The Pillar, Handy declared that she was prepared to pay whatever price for her pro-life work. “If abortion is murder, then our actions need to be reflective of that,” she said. Thinking back to her previous stays in jail, she remembered on one instance being able to counsel another pregnant inmate not to go through with an abortion. She was also able to counsel others who were suffering from post-abortion trauma. “Wherever I go, I want to be able to serve, to be in solidarity with the marginalized, or if it’s necessary, just me and Jesus,” she said.
The discovery of the children in an apartment has led to some allegations that the women disrespected the bodies of the children. However, as Handy tells it, the only reason they retained the bodies of the children was in order to find a pathologist willing to autopsy the remains. During the several days the children were in the apartment no one lived there out of respect for the remains, said Handy. Eventually, when they were unable to find a pathologist willing to autopsy the remains, they had a lawyer draft and send a letter to D.C. authorities informing them of their possession of the bodies. Police arrived at the apartment the following day.
At one point, a priest came and said a funeral Mass for all 115 of the children, who were given names. The bodies of the smaller children have since been buried in a cemetery by a priest. The bodies of the other five have now been taken by D.C. authorities.
In the meantime, Handy, Bukovinac, and other pro-life leaders are demanding justice for the aborted children. A rally was held last week outside the office of the mayor of D.C. Several medical experts told Live Action that there is good reason to suspect that at least one of the children was indeed killed in an illegal late-term abortion.
However, initial indications are that police are not going to investigate the matter any further. The fetuses “were aborted in accordance with D.C. law, so we are not investigating this incident along those lines,” said Ashan M. Benedict, the executive assistant chief of police, at a news conference a few days ago. “There doesn’t seem to be anything criminal in nature right now about that, except for how they got into this house, and so we’ll continue to look at that.”
This, alas, is the world we live in. Crushing the skulls of and dismembering fully formed unborn children who could easily have survived outside their mothers’ wombs is fully legal. Taking the discarded bodies of these same children in order to expose the evil, and to ensure that they receive a respectful burial, is the thing that draws the scrutiny of the police.
As Handy and the other pro-life activists face charges and trial for their rescue work, let us pray for them. Let us also pray that this whole incident will be a wakeup call for those whose consciences are asleep. All 115 of the children recovered by these women were human beings, persons of incomparable worth who deserved our protection and respect, not the violence of abortion and abandonment. The photos of the five fully developed children (and each of the 110) speak the truth more powerfully than any speech or article. They cry out for justice. They demand that this great horror of legal abortion end. Let us respond to that cry by doing whatever is in our power to protect the innocent, awaken the sleeping, and to ensure that our nation becomes a nation that protects all human life.