Ted Cruz demands DC preserve bodies of five late-term aborted babies for investigation

Ted Cruz Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks in front of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., on June 9, 2022. | Screenshot taken from Twitter video by Ford Fischer

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is demanding that the remains of five late-term aborted babies in Washington, D.C., not be discarded before an autopsy is done to determine whether federal law was violated by the abortionist responsible for their deaths.

“To be clear, the remains of these five children are critical evidence in the congressional oversight that the Subcommittee on the Constitution will conduct in the imminent future,” Cruz said in his Feb. 8 letter, addressed to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Francisco Diaz, and D.C. Police Chief Pamela A. Smith.

“Should the D.C. medical examiner’s office decide not to conduct timely autopsies, or preserve the bodies of these babies for outside examination, the Senate Judiciary Committee will have no choice but to expand this issue into a full hearing featuring the Department of Justice and the Office of the D.C. Medical Examiner as witnesses before the American public,” he wrote in the letter.

The secular pro-life group Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) originally obtained the remains of the aborted babies in March 2022. The pro-life group said it acquired them from the Washington Surgi-Clinic run by Dr. Cesare Santangelo, an OB-GYN and well-known abortionist in the city.

PAAU, along with dozens of federal lawmakers and pro-life activists, has called for an investigation and autopsy to determine if the babies were killed in violation of federal law, specifically the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which both protect children from abortion after birth. 

On Monday of this week PAAU announced that the D.C. medical examiner’s office told the group’s legal counsel of the medical examiner’s intent to “destroy” the remains of the babies — known among pro-life activists as the “D.C. Five” — at the behest of the Department of Justice.

“The D.C. medical examiner has informed our attorneys that the DOJ has instructed them to destroy the remains of the [D.C. Five],” the group said.

A lawyer representing the group, Martin Cannon, confirmed to the Daily Signal on Monday that the Department of Justice reportedly advised the medical examiner that there was “no reason to keep those babies anymore.”

“And the medical examiner’s office accordingly tells me that if we don’t have an order to the contrary, by the end of this week, a court order, they will dispose of the babies,” he said.

Reached for comment this week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia referred CNA to the D.C. medical examiner’s office. The medical examiner’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Friday evening.

In Cruz’s letter, he noted Congress’ “oversight role” of Washington, D.C., “becomes especially important … when the executive leadership of Washington, D.C., demonstrates a candid willingness to obstruct justice by refusing to investigate, much less respond to, basic inquiries about the manners and means of fetal deaths, deaths that could very well have occurred through procedures conducted in violation of federal law.”

All that has been publicly said by officials about the legality of the killings is that the five babies’ remains recovered “were aborted in accordance with D.C. law,” which allows abortion up to nine months.

The D.C. medical examiner’s office has issued no public comment and responded to none of CNA’s inquiries about the babies’ remains.

The Washington Post, citing two anonymous sources, reported in 2022 that the D.C. medical examiner’s office had no plans to conduct an autopsy.

When the babies were obtained by PAAU in 2022, the group published the photos of the babies online, calling for an autopsy. 

Speaking of the PAAU representatives who obtained the remains, Cruz said that “these two pro-life activists encountered the mutilated bodies of five preemie-sized aborted babies, babies that, given their size and maturity, may very well have been aborted in violation of federal law. Accordingly, this evidence warrants an investigation,” he said.

“Specifically, and while I understand that the DOJ is pressuring the D.C. medical examiner to dispose of the bodies, I am demanding in the strongest possible terms that you do not do so,” he wrote. “Furthermore, I ask that Mayor Bowser and Police Chief Smith direct the Chief Medical Examiner Diaz to conduct an autopsy of each of these five children’s bodies.”

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Cruz said that it is “highly likely” that after the upcoming November elections, Republicans will take over the Senate.

“At that time, when I am chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, I will schedule hearings on likely violations, like those at issue with these five children, such as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act,” he said.

“These hearings will also no doubt scrutinize the behavior of those who obstructed Senate investigatory efforts by willfully destroying evidence despite not one, but two demands to preserve evidence,” he said.

“Please confirm proof of your compliance with these evidence preservation demands no later than Feb. 9, 2024,” he concluded.

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