Five fetal remains have been found in the Capitol Hill home of 28-year-old of Lauren Handy, an anti-abortion activist. Police officers from Metropolitan Police Department raided Handy’s home following a tip-off about some biohazard material. The activist lived at the 400 block of 6th Street SE.
Law enforcement has not revealed the sources of the fetuses, but they have been collected by the medical examiner’s office. Handy and eight other anti-abortionists were arrested and charged on Wednesday for blocking access to a reproductive health center and streaming the activity live on Facebook. They were charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, a federal offense.
They face up to 11 years in prison and a fine of $350,000 if found guilty.
A self-acclaimed “Catholic anarchist,” Handy stated on Twitter that she often visited medical waste companies where she “liberated” fetuses to “give them a proper burial.” She even claimed to have gone to the University of Washington in Seattle to recover fetuses and human organs from their freezers.
“On March 9th myself & [sic] fellow activists gained access to University of Washington’s fetal organ labs & freezers,” Handy tweeted.
But authorities of the university denied this, saying its cold storage area remained under locks and nothing was missing. The brown bags in the cold room contained donated fetal remains used for research purposes, and some of them date back to 1960. However, Handy added photos that revealed the contents of a cold room at the university. She is the leader of the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU).
The other eight persons arrested along with Handy on Wednesday for violating the FACE Act by breaching a reproductive health clinic are Jonathan Darnel, 40, of Virginia; Jay Smith, 32, and John Hinshaw, 67, and William Goodman, 52, of New York; Joan Bell, 73, of New Jersey; Paulette Harlow, 73, Jean Marshall, 72, of Massachusetts; and Heather Idoni, 61, of Michigan.
Darnel who filmed the attack on the clinic and live-streamed it provided a voice-over saying “the rescuers are doing their job. They’re not allowing women to enter the abortion clinic. As long as they’re in there, no women can go in to kill their children.” The suspects remain in custody, and it is not clear if they have attorneys representing them yet.