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Medical waste company in anti-abortion group's photos denies transporting fetal remains

Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services says its company policy prohibits the transportation of fetal remains or cadavers to its Baltimore facility.

WASHINGTON — A Maryland medical waste company says it does not transport fetal remains and cannot explain why anti-abortion activists claim to have found at least five fetuses in packaging with its labels at a D.C. clinic.

Baltimore-based Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services, owned by Aurora Capitol Partners, told WUSA9 on Monday that its employees are prohibited from transporting fetal remains by company policy.

The Arlington-based anti-abortion group Live Action posted photos on Friday purportedly obtained by another group, Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, appearing to show medical waste shipments from the Washington Surgi-Clinic with Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services labels. The photos were posted alongside graphic images of what the groups have claimed are fetuses discovered by anti-abortion activist Lauren Handy.

WUSA9 reviewed a copy of Curtis Bay's special waste management customer's guide, which lists fetal remains as an "unacceptable waste" category for its Baltimore facility. The guide notes fetal remains must be "segregated from the medical waste stream and buried or cremated" according to applicable laws.

On Tuesday, Curtis Bay said PAAU's allegations are false and released this statement: 

"On March 25, a Curtis Bay employee took custody of three packages from the Washington Surgery Center (Washington Surgi Clinic) and delivered all of them to Curtis Bay’s incineration facility.  At no time did the Curtis Bay employee hand over any of these packages to the PAAU or other third party, and any allegations made otherwise are false. 

"As stated in client agreements and company policy, customers like Washington Surgi Clinic are prohibited from disposing of fetuses and human remains via Curtis Bay’s services. Curtis Bay provides its clients with medical waste bags and boxes to use in a manner that complies with applicable law, client agreements and company policy.  Curtis Bay continues to fully cooperate with law enforcement."

The Washington Surgi-Clinic has not responded to repeated requests for comment from WUSA9.

It remained unclear Monday how the groups obtained the packages. WUSA9 asked Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, if one of the activists may have illegally intercepted the shipment.

“Our job at Live Action News is to report on crimes against children and crimes in the abortion industry,” Rose responded. “The activists have said they obtained these remains from a whistleblower.”

Randall Terry, who founded the anti-abortion organization Operation Rescue and who identified himself as a spokesman for Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, stood by the photos and rejected Curtis Bay’s denial.

“The box speaks for itself and more will be revealed Tuesday,” Terry said.

Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising has scheduled a press conference Tuesday morning to address the fetuses as well as the indictment of Handy and eight others last week on a felony charge of conspiracy against rights. On the same day, D.C. Police, responding to a tip, discovered five aborted fetuses at Handy’s Capitol Hill home. Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, where Handy serves as director of activism, has claimed Handy herself contacted police to pick up the fetuses. The group has called for the D.C. Medical Examiner to perform a full autopsy on the fetuses, although DC Police said medical examiners have already determined they appear to have been aborted according to D.C. law.

The group said it held a “funeral Mass” and “naming ceremony” for the fetuses. As of Monday afternoon, no criminal charges had been filed in connection with the discovery of the fetuses.

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