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Remains of aborted babies in DC to be destroyed without autopsy

The bodies of 5 aborted babies, that were discovered in a medical waste bin outside a clinic in Washington DC will be destroyed without an autopsy (which could potentially prove that these abortions were conducted in violation of current abortion laws) being performed.

A box containing 115 aborted children was discovered by members of PAAU (Progressive Anti-Abortion uprising), a pro-life organisation based in Washington DC, in March 2022 outside the Washington Surgi-Center. They received the box from a Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services whistleblower. Five nearly full-term babies were found in the box, and the injuries they had indicate that either they were aborted using methods that are illegal under federal law, or they were left to die after being born alive.

To ascertain whether the babies' deaths violated the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, members of PAAU and many other pro-life activists and federal lawmakers have demanded an investigation and autopsy. Abortion is forbidden by federal law after a child is partially born.

Regarding the legality of the killings, officials have only stated in public that the five babies' remains that were found "were aborted in accordance with D.C. law," which permits abortions up to nine months.

“Just today, I got a call from the medical examiner’s office indicating that the DOJ has advised them that there is no reason to keep those babies anymore.” Martin Cannon, a lawyer representing PAAU, said on a phone call with The Daily Signal on Monday. “And the medical examiner’s office accordingly tells me that if we don’t have an order to the contrary, by the end of this week, a court order, they will dispose of the babies,” he continued.

Cannon informed The Daily Signal that he received a call on Monday from the D.C. medical examiner's office in regards to Lauren Handy, a pro-life activist that he represents. Handy is also a member of PAAU.

Lauren Handy

In August 2023, Handy was found guilty, along with five other pro-life activists, of violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.

Handy participated in a pro-life demonstration in 2020 where she, along with those who were also protesting, went inside the Washington-Surgi abortion clinic in Washington, DC. This is the same clinic where Handy and PAAU founder, Terrisa Bukovinac, obtained the remains of 115 aborted babies 2 years later. 

Before Handy's trial, according to Cannon, he had a private agreement with the medical examiner's office for a privately obtained forensic pathologist to examine the babies before the trial proceeded. 

“I had the agreement of the medical examiner to accommodate that,” Cannon stated. However, The Daily Signal reported that this autopsy never happened due to the pathologist becoming “unable to do the examination.” 

“The condition of those babies and the circumstances under which they died is still relevant to the case,” Cannon said. “It’s pertinent to sentencing. And I’ve been making some efforts lately to find another pathologist and see what we can do. And, of course, I have advised the medical examiner’s office of that.”

“If I understand the structure of things correctly, there’s no real reason the DOJ should have such sway over the examiner’s office,” he said. “Beyond Lauren’s case, there is a general need to have these babies examined. There is literally exactly a 50% chance that two of these babies … there’s a 50% chance that each of them was born alive and left to die… There’s some chance that the others were subject to illegal partial-birth abortions.”

“The DOJ knows this,” Cannon said. “Those are federal crimes.”

For more information on this case and the Justice For The Five campaign, visit https://paaunow.org/justiceforthefive

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