WARNING: This article contains graphic content.
WASHINGTON — The Washington, D.C., medical examiner said that it will not be performing autopsies on bodies of aborted babies that were turned into police last week.
But pro-life activists and medical professionals say that the bodies show signs of illegal and gruesome abortion procedures — and these activists fear that the bodies will be incinerated before proper autopsies can be conducted.
“One of the worst injustices would be if the medical examiner and D.C. government dispose or incinerate the bodies of these children before a full autopsy could be completed,” Live Action’s director of government affairs Noah Brandt told The Daily Wire on Monday.
“The abortionists do not want autopsies performed because they may indicate violations of federal law,” he said. “D.C. must preserve these remains until a full, fair, and thorough investigation can be completed.”
A “whistleblower” reportedly gave the aborted fetal remains to members of the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), a pro-life organization that has not yet responded to requests for comment from The Daily Wire.
Media reports initially suggested that a pro-lifer had been discovered hoarding fetal remains after a “tip” led D.C. police to the scene, but PAAU said that a member of the organization asked D.C. police to pick up the baby bodies for “forensic examination.”
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) told The Daily Wire that they “received a tip that led us to that location,” noting that in “all circumstances, we do not disclose the identity of those who submit tips to the department.” The MPD would not say whether PAAU tipped them off.
Police recovered the fetal remains on Wednesday in the home of 28-year-old Lauren Handy, a member of PAAU. The remains are now in the possession of the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which referred The Daily Wire to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office. The Daily Wire has reached out to the mayor’s office.
D.C. police have not only said that the babies were aborted legally but also indicated that the only criminal part of the incident is how the aborted baby bodies were in Handy’s house.
D.C. does not have any specific law that bans abortion at any point, effectively allowing abortions through nine months of pregnancy.
“We are aware that the Metropolitan Police Department has stated that they do not believe a crime has been committed against these babies under DC law,” PAAU founder and executive director Terrisa Bukovinac said in a statement. “However, the laws in question are federal laws enforced by the US department of justice.”
The aborted baby bodies are from Washington Surgi Clinic, a Live Action spokesman said. The clinic declined to comment on the aborted fetal remains to The Daily Wire. Its website says it performs abortions up to the 2nd trimester.
Live Action also said that the babies were in packaging from Washington Surgi Clinic and transported to Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services, a management service in Baltimore, Maryland. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment but did release a statement Tuesday denying that they dispose of fetal remains. “At no time did the Curtis Bay employee hand over any of these packages to the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising or other third party, and any allegations made otherwise are false,” the statement said.
“As stated in client agreements and company policy, customers like Washington Surgi Clinic are prohibited from disposing of fetuses and human remains via Curtis Bay’s services,” the Curtis Bay statement continued. “Curtis Bay provides its clients with medical waste bags and boxes to use in a manner that complies with applicable law, client agreements and company policy. Curtis Bay continues to fully cooperate with law enforcement.”
After a member of PAAU alerted authorities that the aborted fetal remains were in her home, the organization said, the FBI arrested and indicted Handy and eight others on Wednesday for an unrelated October 2020 incident for “obstructing patients and providers of a reproductive health services facility.”
At PAAU’s request, a Live Action member went to Handy’s home and took photographs of the aborted babies. Live Action says that the photos “indicate potential criminal activity at a local abortion facility, which currently aborts babies through all nine months of pregnancy.”
In statements provided to The Daily Wire, medical professionals said that some of the babies appeared to have been aborted when they were viable — meaning they could survive outside the womb.
Though officials said that they do not plan to perform autopsies on the babies, The Washington Post reported, two D.C. officials told the publication that this decision could “change if they receive additional information.”
Baby Boy #1
Kathi Aultman, a retired Board-Certified OB/Gyn and an Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, said that she reviewed photos of the aborted babies and found that “Baby Boy #1” was in the 3rd trimester, near term, and appears to have been dead when he was aborted or was not well preserved (since his body has begun to degenerate).
Live Action posted photographs of “Baby Boy #1” on Twitter. (Warning: Posts contain graphic and disturbing images.)
“He appears to be completely normal and was probably aborted using the induction method, which uses medication to induce labor,” said Aultman. “He looks about the same size as my granddaughter when she was born.”
Dr. Kendra Kolb, a neonatologist, who also estimated that Baby Boy #1 is about 30-32 weeks, said that Baby Boy #1 “appears to have been delivered mostly intact without evidence of dismemberment, and as such, it is difficult to say how his life was ended.”
Baby Girl #1
Baby Girl #1 is in the late 2nd or early 3rd trimester, according to Aultman’s estimation. Aultman said that this baby girl is larger than most of the babies that she has cared for in the NICU and likely had a decent chance of survival at this gestational stage and size.
“She has some bruising of the face and some maceration of the skin, which could be consistent with death prior to the abortion,” Aultman said. “She appears intact and completely normal except for trauma to the neck, possibly from traction applied during the attempt to deliver the head.”
Live Action posted photographs of “Baby Girl #1” on Twitter. (Warning: Posts contain graphic and disturbing images.)
“There appears to be an incision at the base of the skull, and the head has been decompressed by removing the brain,” the medical professional continued. “This is consistent with an Intact D&E or D&X. If the baby was alive at the start of this procedure, it would be considered a Partial Birth Abortion and would be illegal.”
Kolb agreed that Baby Girl #1 appears to be between 28-30 weeks, noting “evidence of deep lacerations to the posterior neck which presumably correlates to the method of abortion used to end her life.”
Baby Girl #2
Baby Girl #2 looks to be in the second trimester, according to Aultman.
“She has been dismembered,” Aultman said. “Her head has been crushed or possibly decompressed using suction inserted through an incision in the skull. Her skin is macerated, and her tissues appear grey, consistent with death prior to the abortion. She appears completely normal and was aborted using the [dilation and evacuation] technique, also known as dismemberment abortion.”
Live Action posted photographs of “Baby Girl #2” on Twitter. (Warning: Posts contain graphic and disturbing images.)
Kolb also said that Baby Girl #2 appears to be between 26 to 28 weeks gestation and that this baby was aborted through a dilation and evacuation dismemberment abortion.
“She has evidence of both dismemberment of her upper extremity, decapitation, and organ evisceration as the result of this unimaginably brutal procedure,” said Kolb.
It is not possible to determine the sex of Baby X since this baby is still intact in the amniotic sac, Aultman said. It’s also difficult to discern the baby’s gestational age, she said, but the baby is “probably in the late 2nd or early 3rd trimester.”
The associate scholar speculated that Baby X may have been born alive in the amniotic sac and left to die.
Live Action posted photographs of “Baby X” on Twitter. (Warning: Posts contain graphic and disturbing images.)
“An Induction method would have been used for the abortion,” said Aultman. “Unless this baby was injected with a drug designed to kill prior to the abortion, he or she may very well have been born alive and then left to die. Without rupturing the amniotic sac, it would not have been possible to cut the cord to cause fetal death before the abortion.”
Kolb estimated that Baby X is between 28 weeks and gestational age.
“It is important to note that all of these babies appear to be of a “viable” gestational age,” Kolb said in a statement, “which means that had they been delivered alive at their current developmental stage, they would have had a very good chance of survival outside of the womb with appropriate support.”
“It is also important to note that these babies are pain capable at this point in development, and especially those whose lives were ended by a [dilation and evacuation] abortion would be expected to experience excruciating pain during this barbaric procedure.”
The neonatologist added that 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,” she said.
Former abortionist Dr. Patti Giebink said she is not sure how the babies are aborted, but said that the ones intact may have been induced and delivered and the more macerated babies probably died sooner.
“I still can’t believe they would abort a nearly full term baby unless there was something terminally wrong with the baby but it doesn’t appear so,” she said. ” If they would have measured fetal foot length I could have dated them accurately. Pretty gruesome all in all.”
This story has been updated to include remarks from Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services.