WARNING: This article contains graphic content.
WASHINGTON — A Washington, D.C., abortionist has come under fire following the discovery of a box of aborted babies that was allegedly on its way from a clinic to a medical waste facility.
Pro-life activists believe Dr. Cesare Santangelo has been allowing living babies to die in his clinic after botched abortions, and that he may be violating the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which prohibits physicians from performing partial-birth abortions except when the mother’s life is in danger. Santangelo is the sole abortionist practicing at Washington Surgi Clinic.
Babies who are born alive are protected by law under the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.
A partial-birth abortion is one in which a doctor performs an act that kills a partially delivered, living baby after he “deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the mother’s body, or, in the case of a breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the mother’s body,” according to the 2003 law.
The pro-life activists’ concerns about partial-birth abortions taking place in the nation’s capital are based on examinations of photographs of the baby bodies, which pro-life activists say they intercepted at Washington Surgi Clinic in a box labeled for Curtis Bay Medical Waste Facility (the facility initially denied the pro-life activists’ story and has not responded to further inquiries and evidence).
“The moment we opened the large bucket and discovered the body of Christopher X, a beautiful 30+ week baby boy with hair on his head, we knew that he was most likely born alive,” Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) member Terrisa Bukovinac told The Daily Wire on Wednesday morning.
Bukovinac is referring to a baby that PAAU named after they found his remains. Live Action posted photographs of this baby on Twitter. (Warning: Posts contain graphic and disturbing images.)
“We’ve long known Santangelo is too cheap to use feticide and the chances of a baby this advanced in gestational age being delivered whole without the use of feticide is extremely high,” Bukovinac said.
Washington Surgi Clinic has repeatedly refused to discuss the babies with The Daily Wire. The clinic finally referred The Daily Wire on Tuesday to The National Abortion Federation, which has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
“Baby Harriet with her precious long feet had one eye open and was completely whole except that her brain had been suctioned out and her skull crushed,” Lauren Handy, another PAAU member who says she intercepted the fetal remains, told The Daily Wire. “These injuries are consistent with what we’d expect from a partial-birth abortion which is a federal crime. Santangelo has a history of being sloppy, facing wrongful death lawsuits, and ignoring the law.”
In November 2012, an undercover pro-life activist working for Live Action recorded Santangelo discussing how he would allow babies to die if they were accidentally delivered during abortions.
The Metropolitan Police Department would not comment on Santangelo or his past comments to The Daily Wire, citing “the ongoing nature of this investigation.”
According to the Live Action video recording, posted in 2013, Santangelo told an expectant mother that her “pregnancy” was about the size of her hand, explaining that he hoped to get “the pregnancy out intact,” but noting that “it doesn’t always happen that way.”
“I cut the umbilical cord first, wait for the baby to expire, and then we do it that way,” he said.
When the mother asked Santangelo whether the baby might “move” if it was born alive, the abortionist explained again, “That’s why I try and sever the umbilical cord first, and we wait for that to stop pulsing, and this way the fetus is expired first, so it doesn’t.”
“Has it ever survived?” asked the mother, a woman who Live Action says was 24 weeks pregnant. “After..when it comes out?”
“No, not here, no,” the abortionist responded. “It could! If some people go into labor prior to us…when you do this, what we do is we try and help the cervix dilate, and some people will go into labor before we do this procedure. And that can happen, and it’s unusual.”
“Usually at this point in your pregnancy it is too early to survive, usually, it will expire shortly after birth.”
“But if it did, what would happen,” the Live Action investigator asked. “Like, would I have to take it home, or like-”
“I mean technically, legally, we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive,” he responded. “But you know, it probably wouldn’t. It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point.”
“When you have a pregnancy that is 23, 24 weeks…if you do everything possible to help it survive, there’s a maybe a 20-30% chance that it would survive,” he said. “If you don’t do anything then, you know, the chances are much, much less.”
“But would you make sure that it…like…doesn’t survive,” the Live Action investigator asked.
Santangelo nodded, saying, “You know, there are things you do. Obviously, you’re here for a certain procedure, and if your pregnancy were-let’s say you went into labor, the membranes ruptured, and you delivered before we got to the termination of the procedure here, you know.”
“Then we would do things, we would not help it. We wouldn’t intubate, let’s say,” he explained, noting that he “wouldn’t do any extra,” comparing letting the baby die to letting a terminal person die. “Like a ‘do not resuscitate’ order,” he added.
Santangelo noted that if the mother were in a hospital in Virginia and went into labor and medical professionals saw her deliver her baby, they would do everything to help her baby survive.
“But you won’t?” the mother questioned.
“We wouldn’t here,” he answered.
“That’s happened before,” Santangelo noted. “We’ve had patients that, you know, on the second day of the laminaria, they got some contractions and they panicked, and they were in Virginia at the hospital, they went to the hospital, because they had some pain, instead of calling me.
“And the hospital helped them to deliver,” he continued. “Which was the stupidest thing they could have done..and they did everything they [inaudible] have done, which was help them to deliver.”
This is the abortionist currently under fire for the mangled baby bodies recovered right here in DC. Live Action recorded him saying years ago that he would let babies die if they were accidentally delivered during abortions. pic.twitter.com/Lqb9cOYdwE
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) April 5, 2022
According to Kathi Aultman, a retired Board-Certified OB/Gyn and an Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute who reviewed photographs of the aborted babies, “Baby Girl #1” was aborted in either the late 2nd or early 3rd trimester and likely had a decent chance at survival at her gestational age and size.
Live Action posted photographs of “Baby Girl #1” on Twitter. (Warning: Posts contain graphic and disturbing images.)
“She has some bruising of the face and some maceration of the skin, which could be consistent with death prior to the abortion,” Aultman explained. “She appears intact and completely normal except for trauma to the neck, possibly from traction applied during the attempt to deliver the head.”
“There appears to be an incision at the base of the skull, and the head has been decompressed by removing the brain,” Alutmann continued. “This is consistent with an Intact [dilation and evacuation] or [dilation and extraction]. If the baby was alive at the start of this procedure, it would be considered a Partial Birth Abortion and would be illegal.”
Dr. Kendra Kolb, a neonatologist, also 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” was in the second trimester and was dismembered through a dilation and evacuation dismemberment abortion, both Aultman and Kolb agreed.
“She has evidence of both dismemberment of her upper extremity, decapitation, and organ evisceration as the result of this unimaginably brutal procedure,” said Kolb.
Live Action also posted photographs of “Baby Girl #2” on Twitter. (Warning: Posts contain graphic and disturbing images.)
“Her head has been crushed or possibly decompressed using suction inserted through an incision in the skull,” Aultman said. “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.”