Police find five fetuses in US anti-abortion activist’s home


BBC General

posted on 01/04/2022 07:01

  (credit: Reuters)

(credit: Reuters)

Five fetuses were found in a house in Washington DC that allegedly belonged to an anti-abortion activist, according to police.

Lauren Handy, 28, is one of the leaders of the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) group and describes herself as a “Catholic anarchist”.

Police said they were investigating a “potential biohazardous material” when the fetuses were found.

In a separate case, Handy was indicted on Wednesday (30/03) for forcing herself into an abortion clinic in 2020.

She was photographed outside the address as investigators removed items from the basement in bags and coolers. And she told local news site WUSA9 that “people would freak out when they knew” what was inside the containers being seized.

Washington police said they could not confirm whether the home where the fetuses were found was indeed Handy’s. However, two police officers told the Washington Post that the residence was the same one where Handy was arrested and had lived or stayed at.

“There doesn’t seem to be anything criminal about it, other than how they got into this house,” Ashan Benedict, executive assistant to the Washington DC police chief, told a news conference.

Handy recently claimed to have “gained access” to a bank of fetal tissues and organs at the University of Washington in Seattle, but the school said nothing was taken there.

Per the separate federal indictment, Handy made an appointment at an abortion clinic, the Washington Surgi-Clinic, for October 22, 2020 under the name Hazel Jenkins, saying he wanted to have the procedure. But when she arrived, a group “forcibly entered the clinic”, the prosecution says, knocking down an employee who injured her ankle.

Upon being indicted, Handy and eight other members of the group were charged with conspiracy to harm, oppress, threaten and intimidate patients and staff, violating their federal rights to seek and provide reproductive health services.

They are also accused of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) by using force to interfere with clinic services.

If convicted, each could face up to 11 years in prison and pay a fine of up to US$350,000.

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