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Anti-abortion activists publish photos they say are of fetuses police seized from Capitol Hill apartment

Activists demand DC medical examiner autopsy fetuses. Police say they appear to have been aborted in accordance with DC law, but want to know how activists got them.

WASHINGTON — Anti-abortion activists have released shocking photos and videos of — what they say — are the remains of five human fetuses recovered Wednesday by the Metropolitan Police Department at a home on Capitol Hill.

The release of these images – which WUSA9 is not going to republish – comes after nine anti-abortion activists, including Lauren Handy, were indicted on federal felony charges for allegedly invading Washington Surgi Clinic in 2020. The indictment was released Wednesday, the same day MPD found five fetuses at the home occupied by Handy.

An anti-abortion group called Live Action, a 501c3 nonprofit based in Arlington, posted several sensitive videos and images, apparently showing the five fetuses found at the house, on its social media platforms.

One video shows a cardboard shipping box, which apparently contained the fetuses. A closer look at the box gives a sense of how the anti-abortion activists may have gotten a hold of the five fetuses.

The label on the box says it was transported by Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services, and generated from Washington Surgi Clinic, a health center on F Street that says on its website that it provides abortions up to 27 weeks of pregnancy.

Curtis Bay incinerates waste from hospitals and clinics at its facility in Baltimore.

When asked by WUSA9 if the nine activists indicted Wednesday might have illegally intercepted the shipment, Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action said, "Our job at Live Action News is to report on crimes against children and crimes in the abortion industry. The activists have said they obtained these remains from a whistleblower."

WUSA9 was there exclusively Wednesday when police took the fetuses out of the Capitol Hill basement apartment of anti-abortion activist Handy.

D.C. police say the fetuses in the Capitol Hill apartment were aborted “in accordance with D.C. law.”

"There doesn’t appear to be anything criminal in nature regarding that. Except for how they got into that house," Executive Assistant Chief of Police Ashan Benedict said.

Live Action anti-abortion activists are demanding D.C. perform an autopsy on the aborted fetuses.

"The remains are in the possession of D.C. police and the D.C. Medical Examiner. They have failed to do an autopsy on the children, some of whom appear to be viable and fullterm," Rose said.

The District does not have a specific law banning abortion after a certain point in a pregnancy.

According to FindLaw.com: "Washington D.C. has the least restrictive abortion laws in the country. Abortions do not need to be performed by a licensed physician; the district does not ban late-term abortions; and there are no requirements that abortions be performed at a hospital or with a second doctor present. There are public funds available for women seeking an abortion in the case of rape or incest."

In the culture war over abortion in America, the five fetuses recovered by police have ignited a firestorm.

Katie Watson, a bioethicist and professor at the Northwestern University medical school, said there is no way for a person without training and expertise to determine if a fetus was born alive. “To me what is gruesome is the exploitation of other women’s fetal remains for a piece of political symbolism,” she said.

"The worst disrespect to a possible murder victim is to fail to give them justice and then to fail to give them a proper burial," Rose responded.

Washington Surgi Clinic and Curtis Bay Medical Waste did not respond to WUSA9 for comment by the time this story was published.

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