Anti-abortion activists arrested while seeking Justice for the Five

Seven anti-abortion activists were arrested and released Thursday in Washington, D.C. as they protested outside of the Rayburn U.S. House of Representatives building demanding justice for five of the babies discovered one year ago in a medical waste bin outside Washington SurgiClinic.

The babies appear to have been killed late in pregnancy, with one estimated to have been as old as 32 weeks. It may be possible that one of the babies was born alive and left to die.

Photo by Mark Story (used with permission)

On Thursday, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the babies’ deaths, activists from the group Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) sang and chanted in the street, calling on Congress to hold hearings for the babies and to pass a federal law protecting all preborn children from abortion after the age of viability. (Babies born as young as 21 weeks are capable of surviving outside the womb.)

The activists were blocking traffic in both directions, which led to their arrests.

According to a press release from PAAU, those arrested were PAAU founder and executive director Terrisa Bukovinac, Constance Becker, Elise Ketch, Caroline Smith, Melanie Salazar, Robert Byrd, and Kristin Turner.

Bukovinac and fellow activist Lauren Handy discovered the five bodies on March 25, 2022, along with another 110 aborted preborn children in a box of medical waste. The box was being removed from Washington SurgiCenter, an abortion business operated by Cesare Santangelo, who was recorded in an undercover Live Action investigation saying that he and his staff “would not help” a child who survived an abortion.

Three of the five older babies showed indications that they may have died by illegal means, including by the federally banned D&X (partial-birth abortion) procedure and in violation of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

Justice has still not been served for the babies, as government officials have refused to investigate if they were killed legally or illegally.



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“Justice delayed is justice denied,” said Bukovinac upon her release. “These babies are murder victims and it’s time for their killer to be held to account. We are demanding that congress act by giving these babies their day in court and to pass a national ban on abortion after the baby is old enough to survive outside the womb to ensure these crimes against humanity [are] never allowed to happen again.”

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