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Tipsheet

Members of Congress Demand Investigation into Aborted Fetal Remains in D.C. Apartment

Tom Williams/Pool via AP

This week, Members of Congress sent a letter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city’s chief of police demanding an investigation into the deaths of five aborted children discovered in a D.C. apartment, which Rebecca covered on Monday. 

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Pro-life nonprofit Live Action reported this week that physician experts said the five children recovered from the apartment “appear to have been viable human beings, raising questions about potential legal and serious ethical violations at the abortion clinic.” The abortion clinic in question is reportedly run by a late-term abortionist.

“Dr. Robin Pierucci, a neonatal specialist, told Live Action News: ‘I can say with confidence that these babies died at an age when they were viable, premature people.’ In her Friday morning comments, she noted that she was going to work in a NICU where she would ‘care for little ones this size and age.’

During a Thursday press conference, D.C. police quickly dismissed the possibility that the babies experienced illegal abortions but declined to comment further when asked by Live Action News. Although D.C. doesn’t ban late-term abortions, medical professionals are still bound by federal laws which restrict the method of abortion and require life-saving care for infants born after botched procedures.

Lifesaving care is something Dr. Cesare Santangelo, who operates the facility where the discarded babies were discovered, has already said repeatedly that he either doesn’t provide or avoids.

A pro-life activist voluntarily informed the D.C. homicide unit of the babies and surrendered them to authorities. Details are forthcoming but the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) group, to which this activist belongs, believes the ‘late gestational ages as well as their apparent sustained injuries potentially show violations of the Partial Birth Abortion Act as well as the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.’ The group also announced that a funeral mass and naming ceremony was offered for the babies.”

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Later in Live Action's piece, former abortionist Dr. Kathy Aultman, who later became pro-life, said that one of the children appeared to be in the third trimester of pregnancy.

In the letter to Bowser and the D.C. chief of police, the Members of Congress noted that D.C. police assumed that each child died as a result of a legal abortion without conducting a medical evaluation. Furthermore, the letter explains that since the babies were far along in pregnancy, they could have died through a third-trimester abortion method that is a crime under federal law.

“Last week, D.C. Metropolitan Police recovered the remains of five preborn children apparently from the Washington Surgi-Clinic in Washington, D.C., a facility operated by the late-term abortionist Dr. Cesare Santangelo. Instead of ensuring that the horrific deaths of these children were properly investigated, Metropolitan Police made the assumption that each child died as the result of a legal abortion. It is our understanding that the Metropolitan Police made this assumption without conducting any medical evaluations. We also understand from press reports that the D.C. medical examiner does not plan to perform autopsies on the children. This is completely unacceptable. 

While other horrific methods of abortion unfortunately remain legal for the time being, killing a child through a partial-birth abortion is a crime under federal law. Under the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, a partial-birth abortion occurs when a physician partially delivers a living child for the purpose of performing an overt act that intentionally takes the life of the child. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortions in Gonzales v. Carhart in 2007.

Additionally, Congress passed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act to provide equal protections for children who are born alive during an abortion. If the bodies of other babies who were not aborted were recovered in a similar fashion, it would be hard to imagine the Metropolitan Police declining to conduct a thorough investigation into the death of each child. 

Based on evidence collected at the time of recovery and photos that have been publicly shared, all five of these children appear to have developed well past the point of viability, and likely suffered severely painful abortion procedures, though without an autopsy, it is not known how each child died. For example, one baby girl has significant damage to her head, with deep lacerations at the back of the neck, and may have been victim of an illegal partial birth abortion. Another baby was found in its amniotic sac and could have been born alive.

These five children, like all children, have inherent value and deserved better than abortion – they deserved life.”

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One lawmaker who signed the letter is Republican Sen. Roger Marshall, who represents Kansas. Marshall practiced medicine for over 25 years. As an OB/GYN, he delivered more than 5,000 babies. 

In addition, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) shared the letter on Twitter

“[D.C. Police] discovered the remains of 5 babies who suffered gruesome late-term abortions yet refuse to investigate whether federal law was violated,” he wrote. “This is unacceptable. [Mayor Bowser], I demand an investigation. #JusticeForTheFive”

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