While D.C. police previously said that the five babies were aborted in accordance with D.C. law, pro-life leaders are concerned that the abortions could have violated federal law prohibiting the killing of babies outside the womb.
Since the discovery of the five babies’ remains, lawmakers have sent multiple letters and pro-life groups have held rallies calling for a full investigation and autopsies of the babies’ bodies.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has given no indication that the city intends to autopsy the remains. Instead of addressing concerns about the abortionist, she has suggested Handy may have violated federal law.
Handy, along with eight others, was indicted on March 30 for an incident unrelated to the discovery of the babies. The Justice Department charged her and eight others with conspiracy against rights and a Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act offense after a protest they staged at the Washington Surgi-Clinic in 2020. Handy has pleaded not guilty.
Handy was not present at the Wednesday rally because of her federal case, Bukovinac said.
During the event, pro-life activists took turns speaking at a podium and holding images of the five, as a crowd gathered to watch. A few young women, some of whom identified themselves as George Washington University students, attempted to interfere with the event.
At one point, some shouted, “abortion is healthcare,” to which PAUU members shouted back, “abortion is murder!”
Toward the end, abortion supporters tried to erase chalk messages that pro-life activists left on the sidewalk with water, and by rubbing them with their shoes.
Bukovinac said she wanted pro-lifers to take part in “nonviolent direct action” to combat abortion.
“Yes, it’s scary. Yes, there are risks involved. Your life changes because of it. But these babies are being killed,” she told CNA. “And if we say that we want justice for them, then we have to be willing to go out and actively put our bodies in-between the oppressor and the oppressed. And the oppressor is Cesare Santangelo.”
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She concluded, “We need a gathering of pro-life advocates out here every single day until Santangelo is held to account.”
CNA has contacted the Washington Surgi-Clinic multiple times for comment and has received no response.
Katie Yoder is a correspondent in CNA's Washington, D.C. bureau. She covers pro-life issues, the U.S. Catholic bishops, public policy, and Congress. She previously worked for Townhall.com, National Review, and the Media Research Center.