Healthcare

Anti-abortion activists claim they had 115 fetuses

Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

Anti-abortion activists on Tuesday claimed they had 115 fetuses in their possession after allegedly taking a box from a medical waste services company that was located outside of a women’s health clinic in Washington, D.C.

Terrisa Bukovinac, the founder and executive director of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, announced at a press conference on Tuesday that she and Lauren Handy, another anti-abortion activist, took a box with the remains of aborted fetuses from a truck associated with Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services that was parked outside the Washington Surgi-Clinic, a facility that provides women with gynecological and pregnancy termination services. The incident occurred on March 25.

Bukovinac said her and Handy went to the facility to take part in “anti-abortion advocacy” but inquired about the medical services truck upon arrival.

After confirming that the boxes were from the Washington Surgi-Clinic, and assuming that they contained the remains of aborted fetuses, the duo asked if they could take one to provide “a proper burial and a funeral.” The driver allegedly gave them permission.

“Upon arrival we saw a truck labeled Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services parked outside. We approached the driver who was about to load two large boxes with biohazard symbols onto his truck. We asked him if he knew what was in the boxes, and after he said no, we told him: dead babies,” Bukovinac said.

“The driver was visibly shaken. After he confirmed the boxes were from Washington Surgi, I asked him, ‘Would you get in trouble if we took one of these boxes?’ And he asked, ‘What would you do with them if you took one?’ Lauren said, ‘We will give them a proper burial at a funeral,’” she added.

Bukovinac said the truck driver “thought for a second and said OK and gestured towards the box.”

The duo then allegedly brought the box back to Handy’s apartment, where they discovered the remains of 115 aborted fetuses. Bukovinac said one of the remains was a nearly full-term fetus.

“I think I can speak for both Lauren and I when I say this was the most devastating and soul-crushing experience of our lives,” Bukovinac said on Tuesday. “Not even years of anti-abortion advocacy could have prepared us for that moment. And it’s a moment that will live on for us for all of time.”

She said they had held a funeral and naming ceremony for the fetuses, 110 of which had then been taken to an “undisclosed location” for burial. Meanwhile, the activists kept the five fetuses that appeared the largest and arranged for authorities to pick them up for investigation, she said.

Handy was indicted on federal charges late last month for allegedly blockading access to an abortion clinic in 2020. That same day, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) found five fetuses at her home.

Ashan Benedict, the executive assistant chief of police at the MPD, told reporters that the fetuses found were aborted in accordance with D.C. law. Authorities, however, are looking into how they ended up in the home.

The fetuses found at the home were reportedly given to the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The Hill reached out to Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services for comment.

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