WARNING: This article contains disturbing images.
UPDATE, 4/11/22: Since this article’s original publication, further details about this discovery have been brought to light. Please read here for a timeline of the events that unfolded, and here for firsthand testimony of the activists who made the discovery of the aborted babies.
See a list of other Live Action News articles related to this topic at the end of this article.
4/1/22: Physician experts have told Live Action News that five aborted children recovered from a D.C. abortion facility appear to have been old enough to survive outside the womb, raising questions about potential legal and serious ethical violations by the abortion facility.
Dr. Robin Pierucci, a neonatal specialist, told Live Action News: “I can say with confidence that [four of] 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.
Live Action president and founder Lila Rose said in response, “The discovery of these bodies is horrific and disturbing evidence of the infanticide that may be occurring in this clinic within our nations’ capital, and indicative of the violence happening in abortion facilities nationwide.”
Baby boy #1 ‘should have been in a nursery’
Perhaps the largest and most developed baby found was a boy, whose gestational age has been estimated to be around 28-32 weeks – well within the third trimester, past the point at which the majority of experts agree that preborn babies can feel pain, and beyond the point many states have restricted abortions for medical and ethical reasons. For example, the Mississippi law that recently came before the Supreme Court limits abortion to just 15 weeks based on concerns surrounding fetal development, pain, and other factors.
Photos and video of the first baby boy reveal that he remained largely intact, raising questions about how his life ended. He also has what appears to be a fully formed face, fingers, toes, and all the primary features normally visible in a newborn.
Dr. Kathi Aultman, a former abortionist who later became pro-life, told Live Action News that he “appears to be in the 3rd trimester near term and looks like he should have been in the nursery.” Dr. Patti Giebink similarly said via email that this baby boy “looks close to term gestation … [a]nd pretty much intact,” adding that she couldn’t “believe they would abort a nearly full term baby unless there was something terminally wrong with the baby, but it doesn’t appear so.”
“He is totally intact, but his skin is somewhat macerated,” Aultman said. “In other words, it has begun to degenerate, which would indicate that he was probably dead when he was aborted, or he was not well preserved, and his tissues began to deteriorate after the abortion. He appears to be completely normal and was probably aborted using the induction method, which uses medication to induce labor. He looks about the same size as my granddaughter when she was born.”
Two neonatologists – Dr. Kendra Kolb and Dr. Robin Pierucci – similarly expressed shock at the state of this baby’s body. Kolb estimated a gestational age as late as 32 weeks while medical advances are continually pushing back the age of viability. At the end of last year, a baby in Alabama, Curtis Means, was born at 21 weeks, which comes just after the 20-week cutoff that the U.S. senate rejected in 2018.
The National Library of Medicine says that at 32 weeks, the baby has lungs, a beating heart, and other major organs. He or she also has the ability to hear, a rapidly growing brain, a nervous system “developed enough to control some body functions,” eyelids that can open and close, and “surfactant” or a substance that helps the lungs’ air sacs fill with air.
Kolb told Live Action News that “it is beyond horrific and devastating for me as a Neonatologist to see these images, as these babies are representative of the very same patient population that I care for. To then see these discarded aborted babies, and even try to imagine what they went through during these horrific abortion procedures is infuriating and devastating beyond words.”
“Even if all of these babies were aborted ‘legally’, it is without question and crystal clear to see that this practice is neither ethical nor empowering to women. This is the American horror story that we call ‘choice’ on full display for all to see.”
“Baby Girl #1” may have experienced an illegal partial birth abortion
Many of the babies’ bodies showed deep lacerations or other forms of damage that likely resulted from abortion procedures inflicting significant trauma with deep pain prior to their deaths.
One of the baby girls could be seen with her right eye open, significant damage to her head, and with the rest of her body relatively intact. Footage shows her curled in the fetal position with pinkish-tan skin as her lifeless, half-open eye looks into the distance.
According to Kolb, that baby appeared to be at 28-30 weeks at the time of her likely abortion. “This baby appears to be somewhere between 28-30 weeks gestational age, with evidence of deep lacerations to the posterior neck which presumably correlates to the method of abortion used to end her life,” said Kolb.
NLM notes that at that point, “all parts of the baby’s eyes are developed,” “footprints and fingerprints are forming,” and “your baby may startle in response to loud noises.” And doctors have acknowledged that the baby can feel pain at this stage. One abortionist previously told Fox News that at 23 weeks, babies start developing the thalamocortical fibers for processing pain.
The prevailing timeline of pain at 24 weeks, however, has been questioned by Dr. Stuart Derbyshire, who previously called fetal pain a “misnomer.” Derbyshire recently published an article in which he suggested babies could actually feel pain as early as 12 weeks.
Citing a literature review, the Charlotte Lozier Institute says that research indicates “neural connections from periphery to brain are functionally complete after 18 weeks.”
It’s difficult to tell how this baby girl ultimately died, but Aultman noted that if she was alive at the start of the procedure, the abortionist would have committed an illegal partial birth abortion in which the baby is partially delivered before a doctor ends his or her life.
“Baby girl # 2” likely endured an ‘unimaginably brutal procedure’
Not all of the other babies were intact. In fact, many first trimester babies were obtained with their bodies and internal organs in pieces.
One of the later-term baby girls was also found in pieces. Footage shows her detached arm along with her legs attached to her torso. The flesh appears darkened due to apparent decay and her head seemed to be flattened.
Kolb told Live Action News that this baby girl appeared to have endured a dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion, which typically entails tearing a baby to pieces before crushing the child’s skull with a medical instrument.
“Although difficult to say with exact precision, this baby may have been somewhere between 26-28 weeks gestational age at the time a Dilation and Evacuation (or “D&E”) dismemberment abortion was done to end her life,” said Kolb.
“She has evidence of both dismemberment of her upper extremity, decapitation, and organ evisceration as the result of this unimaginably brutal procedure.” A slew of other babies were found with organs like their intestines and lungs exposed, as well as bodies apparently contorted or shredded in abortions.
“Baby X” was found in its amniotic sac and could have been born alive
Besides D&E, abortionists may induce labor after injecting the baby with feticide like digoxin. While it’s unclear what (if any) chemical agents these babies may have received, one of them shows signs of induction and potential life outside of the womb.
Photos and video footage shows what’s considered a well-developed baby in the fetal position and encased by his or her amniotic sac. Viewers can also see a foot that’s still pink and a hand with veins that presumably became markedly blue due to lack of oxygen.
While the gender is unknown, the baby can be seen inside of his or her amniotic sac (“en caul”) – raising questions about how the abortionist may have ended his or her life. Dr. Santangelo told Live Action in 2013 (see video below) that he cuts a baby’s umbilical cord and waits for the child to die by cardiac arrest. At that point, doctors would presumably be able to duck the partial birth abortion law by killing the baby before he or she exits the mother.
In an interview with Live Action News, Aultman doubted whether that type of procedure could be performed on an en caul baby. She added that an abortion would have had to involve a feticide injection.
“It is not possible to determine the sex in this view,” she said. “It is difficult to discern the gestational age, but this baby is probably in the late 2nd or early 3rd trimester. An Induction method would have been used for the abortion. Unless this baby was injected with a drug designed to kill prior to the abortion, he or she may very well have been born alive and then left to die. Without rupturing the amniotic sac, it would not have been possible to cut the cord to cause fetal death before the abortion.”
Media distorts the debate while sidestepping ethical concerns plaguing abortion industry
Induction abortions frequently allow preborn children to remain largely intact. Prior to evacuating the baby, abortionists attempt to ensure “fetal demise,” as some put it, by stopping their hearts with digoxin or using another feticide. By contrast, dilation and evacuation (D&E) procedures entail literally tearing the preborn child apart – extracting his or her limbs and crushing the child’s skull until brain matter oozes from the baby’s head.
Live Action was told the bodies were discovered at the Washington Surgi-Clinic in Washington, D.C., a facility operated by Dr. Cesare Santangelo, an OBGYN whom Live Action previously recorded saying that he would let an aborted child die if that child survived outside of its mother.
“We would do things – we would – we would not help it,” he told an undercover investigator in 2013.
“Let’s say. We wouldn’t – we wouldn’t uh, intubate, let’s say. Ok? Yeah, we wouldn’t do any extra – you know? … It would be, you know, uh – a person that would be – a terminal person in the hospital, let’s say – that had cancer. You know? You wouldn’t do any extra procedures to help that person survive.”
He similarly told an investigator that “in your pregnancy, it’s too early to survive, usually. It will expire shortly after birth.” That particular pregnancy was identified by him to be “24-25 weeks along.”
A former Planned Parenthood official also acknowledged that their affiliate saw an infant born alive after an abortion. That came as part of sworn testimony in David Daleiden’s civil trial with the abortion provider. Another deposition showed Perrin Larton, the procurement manager for Advanced Biosciences Resources, recalling that she saw a beating heart and intact fetuses.
Dr. Deborah Nucatola, a Planned Parenthood official prominently featured in Daleiden’s videos, told attorneys that she had seen nonviable babies, or those “not capable of survival,” leave the uterus.
Fetal tissue research has come under special scrutiny given that some allege it incentivizes the commodification of baby body parts. Congressional Republicans are still waiting for answers from the federal government regarding the University of Pittsburgh’s statements about its own research. Although the university denied participating in medical procedures, its application for federal funding noted its ability to maximize ischemic time, which refers to the time after blood flow is cut off from a part of the body. Multiple doctors told Fox News those statements pointed to the possibility that organs were either extracted from live babies or those that were recently deceased.
Planned Parenthood has repeatedly denied wrongdoing as has the University of Pittsburgh.
Read more on this developing story in the related articles below:
Editor’s Note 4/7/22: This article has been updated since original publication and will continue to be updated.
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