Washington D.C., Apr 5, 2022 / 10:51 am (CNA).
Anti-abortion activists said Tuesday that they obtained 115 aborted babies from a driver for a medical waste company in late March, with the intention of giving the unborn children a dignified funeral and burial.
Five of those babies that appear to be of late-term gestation are now in the possession of Washington, D.C. Metro Police, which retrieved the remains Friday from an apartment in the city where they were being stored by members of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), a group that demonstrates against abortion and engages in activism in and around abortion clinics. Police say they are in the early stages of an investigation into how the remains were obtained.
Along with other pro-life groups, PAAU has called on the D.C. Medical Examiner to autopsy the babies’ remains to determine their manner of death in order to assess whether they died after being born, in possible violation of federal laws. The medical examiner’s office has not commented on whether it plans to autopsy the babies.
“Pro-life Americans will not stay silent in the face of such aggressive and barbarous violence,” Terrisa Bukovinac, PAAU’s founder, said during a press conference the group held in Washington Tuesday morning. Also speaking at the press conference was Lauren Handy, PAAU’s director of activism.
“We will diligently work until the American abortion-industrial complex is fully disarmed and dismantled,” she said.
Members of the group also demanded that the five babies be allowed to have a proper burial after any autopsies are performed.
PAAU members on Tuesday claimed that they discovered the babies’ remains in a sealed cardboard box that group members obtained from a driver working for Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services on March 25 during a demonstration outside Washington Surgi-Clinic, an abortion clinic located on F Street in the district’s northwest section.
Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services has confirmed that it did pick up three boxes of medical waste from Washington Surgi-Clinic the morning of March 25, but the company denies that any of the boxes left the driver’s possession.
In a statement, Curtis Bay said it has a contract to dispose of biohazardous medical waste from the clinic at a power-generating incinerator the company operates in Baltimore, but the company maintained that “customers like Washington Surgi Clinic are prohibited from disposing of fetuses and human remains via Curtis Bay’s services.”
At its press conference, PAAU displayed graphic video footage and still photos of the babies’ remains. The video footage showed someone wearing gloves opening the cardboard box and removing early-stage aborted babies from lidded plastic containers.
The group’s members said the 110 smaller babies have been given names, a funeral Mass, and dignified burial in an “undisclosed location.”
Encounter with driver described
In an interview prior to the press conference, Bukovinac and another PAAU activist, Lauren Handy, told CNA that on the morning of March 25, 2022, they were planning to do what they call a “Pink Rose Rescue,” which involves entering abortion clinics with pink roses, offering them to the mothers inside and letting them know there are resources available to help them choose life rather than abortion.
Bukovinac said she and Handy had roses in hand and were planning to enter the Washington Surgi-Clinic. Bukovinac and Handy told CNA they saw a truck parked outside the clinic labeled “Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services,” and a driver about to load two cardboard boxes into the truck.
Bukovinac said she and Handy asked the driver if he knew what was in the boxes, to which he said no. Terrisa told him “dead babies,” to which he looked “totally shocked” and appeared speechless. They asked if the boxes had come from Washington Surgi-Clinic, because the building houses other medical facilities. Bukovinac said the driver responded that he didn’t know, but she said that she and other members of the group saw a label on one of the boxes, which they photographed, indicating that it had come from the clinic.
The two women said they asked the driver if they could take one of the boxes, and when the driver asked what they would do with it, Handy, who identifies as a Catholic, told him that they would give the aborted babies a funeral and proper burial.
Bukovinac and Handy told CNA that the driver, who they say already had “scanned in” the boxes, allowed them to take one of them. They say they did not learn the driver’s name and have not heard from him since.
Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services disputes the group’s account. In a statement, the company said the following: “On March 25, a Curtis Bay employee took custody of three packages from the Washington Surgery Center (Washington Surgi Clinic) and delivered all of them to Curtis Bay’s incineration facility. At no time did the Curtis Bay employee hand over any of these packages to the PAAU or other third party, and any allegations made otherwise are false.”
The statement said that Curtis Bay “continues to fully cooperate with law enforcement.”
This is a developing story. More updates to follow.
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