DOJ reportedly tells DC medical examiner to discard potentially illegally aborted babies


UPDATE, 2/9/24: The DC Medical Examiner’s office has informed pro-life groups that they no longer plan to dispose of the bodies of the five babies, for now. Read more here.

2/6/24: According to The Daily Signal, the Department of Justice has reportedly ordered the Washington, D.C. Medical Examiner to discard the bodies of the nearly full-term babies discovered in a medical waste bin outside of a D.C. abortion business last year.

The babies, whom experts stated were likely old enough to have survived outside the womb, were found in a plastic bag inside a bin underneath the remains of 110 babies aborted in the first trimester. The bin was recovered by pro-life activists outside of Washington Surgi-Center abortion facility, which is operated by Cesare Santangelo. Pro-lifers gave the first-trimester aborted children a proper burial.

WARNING: Disturbing photos below.

One of the babies, whom pro-life activists named “Harriet,” had an incision on the back of her neck that experts claimed could indicate the use of the federally banned D&X abortion procedure commonly referred to as “partial-birth abortion.”

The other four babies, experts indicated, could have died by infanticide after surviving the late-term induction abortion procedure. A 2013 Live Action undercover investigation showed footage of Santangelo stating that his method of abortion does not involve the injection of feticide and that if a child survived the abortion, he and his staff “would not help” that child survive.

Justice for the Five

Babies Christopher X and Harriett were found in a medical waste bin outside of a D.C. abortion business. Photos courtesy of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising.

Following the discovery, private arrangements were made for the Metropolitan Washington D.C. Police homicide unit to pick up the five babies for forensic examination. Attorney General Steve Cooley penned a letter to Chief Medical Examiner Francisco J. Diaz and Police Captain Carols Heraud of the Investigative Services Bureau Homicide Branch. The letter stated, “It appears some of the fetuses were a result of late-term abortion(s) or possibly live birth abortions.”

D.C. police held a press conference days later, where the possibility that these viable babies were killed illegally was dismissed, despite there being no investigation or autopsies performed, and despite Santangelo’s admission that he would not provide life-saving care to abortion survivors as legally required.

Ashan Benedict, the MPD executive assistant to the chief of police said the babies had been killed “in accordance with the law.”

On Monday, attorney Martin Cannon, who is representing pro-life activists charged by the DOJ, including Lauren Handy, told The Daily Signal, “Just today, I got a call from the medical examiner’s office indicating that the DOJ has advised them that there is 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 wondered why the medical examiner would take “marching orders from the DOJ.”

Baby Phoenix was found still in the amniotic sac in a medical waste bin outside a DC abortion business. Photo courtesy of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising.

He added, “If I understand the structure of things correctly, there’s no real reason the DOJ should have such sway over the examiner’s office. Beyond Lauren [Handy]’s case, there is a general need to have these babies examined. There is literally exactly a 50% chance that two of these babies … there’s a 50% chance that each of them was born alive and left to die … There’s some chance that the others were subject to illegal partial birth abortions. The DOJ knows this. Those are federal crimes.”

Caroline Taylor Smith, Executive Director of PAAU (Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising), said in a press release that the group, which discovered the babies, has been fearing that this would happen.

“We suspected that Biden’s DOJ would attempt to sweep this evidence under the rug. This is yet another step in the coordinated effort to protect Big Abortion and Caesare Santangelo’s horrific crimes. These children cry out for justice and we won’t stop fighting for them,” she said.



Cannon said he was in D.C. to visit Handy and other pro-lifers jailed for violating the FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act and had been in communication with a forensic pathologist who was considering examining the babies prior to the upcoming trial for the pro-lifers.

Justice for the Five Holly

Baby Holly was dismembered by D&E abortion at a Washington D.C. abortion business. Photo courtesy of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising.


Justice for the Five

Baby Ángel was killed by dismemberment abortion late in pregnancy and his body was found in a medical waste bin outside a DC abortion business. Photo courtesy of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising.

“I had the agreement of the medical examiner to accommodate that,” Cannon said of the forensic pathologist’s examination. But before Handy’s trial, the pathologist was no longer able to carry out the examination.

“The condition of those babies and the circumstances under which they died is still relevant to the case,” Cannon added. “It’s pertinent to sentencing. And I’ve been making some efforts lately to find another pathologist and see what we can do. And, of course, I have advised the medical examiner’s office of that.” He also ordered the examiner’s office not to dispose of the babies’ bodies, stating that there will be an investigation. He believes that will “solve the problem.”

The Daily Signal reported that the police have “repeatedly” claimed that the case remains “under investigation.”

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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