Two abortion activists on Tuesday made fresh claims about five fetuses found by police in their apartment last week, proving that a medical waste worker allowed the seizure of 115 fetuses from outside a clinic in Washington, DC, last month.
Lauren Handy and Theresa Bukovinak made the claim at a news conference just days after DC police confirmed that officers had found the fetus in Handy’s apartment, which the FBI arrested the same day in 2020 for allegedly blocking access to an abortion clinic. Later released.
Handy and Bukovinak, both leaders of a group called the Progressive Anti-Abortion Rebellion, told reporters on Tuesday that they had received 115 fetuses, not just five, from outside the Washington Surgery-Clinic where they went to protest. March 25.
They claimed that they went to the driver of Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services and took the fetuses, which were loading boxes into a car.
“We asked him if he knew what was in the box, and after he said no, we told him: dead baby,” Bukovinak said Tuesday. The driver was visibly shaken. After confirming that the boxes belonged to Washington Sergei, I asked him, ‘Would you be in trouble if we took one of these boxes?’
Bukovinak said the driver voluntarily handed over the box when he and Handy told him they wanted to give the contents “a proper burial and a funeral.”
Curtis Bay denies this account.
“On March 25, Curtis Bay employees took three packages into custody from the Washington Surgery Center (Washington Surgery-Clinic) and delivered them to Curtis Bay’s firefighting facility,” the company said in a statement to the New York Times. “Any allegations made otherwise would be false.”
Bukovinak said they returned to Handy’s apartment to unpack a box and eventually buried 110 fetuses which they believe were aborted in the first trimester of pregnancy. The other five he described as “late-term” or “almost full-term” and potential victims of federal crime, so women began looking for a doctor to confirm the fetal gestational age.
When they failed to find a medical professional for that purpose, Bukovinak and Handy “coordinated with attorneys to alert the DC Murder Unit about the location of the five older children and requested an investigation into their deaths,” Bukovinak said March 29.
“Their wound marks indicate violent federal crime,” Handy claimed Tuesday, shortly before they showed graphic images of the collected fetus.
But before DC police arrived the next day and found the fetuses in Handy’s apartment, the FBI arrested him and charged eight others with federal civil rights violations. According to prosecutors, they violated the Freedom of Clinic Access Act in October 2020 when they locked the doors of an abortion clinic in the capital using their bodies, furniture, ropes and chains.
DC police say they did not find “anything of a criminal nature” about the five abortions that activists wanted to investigate. The city does not prohibit the procedure at any stage of pregnancy and leaves the decision to patients in consultation with doctors.
Nationwide, about 1% of abortions are performed within 21 weeks or more of pregnancy, and doctors usually prescribe them at that stage due to serious fetal inconsistencies or threats to the mother’s life.
Neither Bukovinak nor Handy has been arrested or charged with possession of the fetus, but said on Tuesday they believed it was a possibility. “We are not afraid,” Bukovinak said.