Police say 5 fetuses were found in a DC home where an anti-abortion activist is believed to be living

Officers were called to the home in the Capitol Hill area “to investigate a report of potentially hazardous materials,” the Metro Police Department said in a statement. When they entered the house, they discovered five fetuses, police said.

DC police have not announced any arrests in connection with the fetuses, but said the investigation is ongoing.

CNN affiliate WUSA was at the scene and reported the home was occupied by anti-abortion activist Lauren Handy. CNN has not independently verified that Handy is staying in the house.

The WUSA crew witnessed police removing evidence in bags and red coolers. WUSA reported that Handy declined to speak to them on camera, but told them she expected the raid to happen “sooner or later.” She didn’t tell WUSA what was in the coolers that were removed from the house, but said “people would freak out when they heard it.”

Police say the fetuses were recovered by the DC Medical Examiner’s Office.

DC Deputy Chief of Police Ashan Benedict told reporters Thursday that the fetuses were aborted according to DC law.

Charged with allegedly blocking a clinic offering abortion services

Separately, Handy and eight other anti-abortion activists were indicted last week by a federal grand jury for allegedly blocking access in 2020 to a DC clinic that provides abortion services.

Handy and the other defendants “conspired” with each other to obstruct the clinic on October 22, 2020 and to threaten or intimidate patients and clinic staff, the indictment alleges.

The defendants traveled to DC from other states and used deception and force to gain access to the clinic, according to the indictment. “The conspirators brought tools to barricade themselves inside the clinic, including ropes and chains.”

Days before the incident, prosecutors allege Handy called the clinic and “misrepresented herself as a woman named ‘Hazel Jenkins’ who needed reproductive health services and made an appointment for 9:00 a.m.,” on Oct. 22, according to court documents.

A member of the group, Jonathan Darnel, while outside the clinic, created an event on his Facebook account titled “No one dies today,” according to the indictment.

When the clinic opened, the defendants “forcibly pushed the door of the clinic into the clinic’s waiting room,” according to the indictment. The forced entry allegedly caused a nurse to “trip and sprain her ankle”.

Once inside the clinic, the defendants began blocking the clinic doors and treatment areas, according to the indictment.

When a patient arrived, the “conspirators prevented her from entering the treatment area of ​​the clinic”. According to the indictment, Handy stood at the door of the clinic’s main entrance “and blocked people trying to enter the waiting room.”

Prosecutors say Darnel began livestreaming on Facebook, saying, “We have people physically intervening with their bodies to stop women from entering the clinic to murder their children.”

The defendants are each charged with one count of conspiracy against rights and one count of violating the law on free access to clinic entrances.

“If convicted of the offences, the defendants each face a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of probation and a fine of up to $350,000,” the Justice Department said in a Wednesday statement. Press release.

The anti-abortion group Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) lists Handy as a member of its leadership team on its website.

PAAU tweeted on Wednesday“This morning, PAAU Director of Activism Lauren Handy was arrested and is currently in FBI custody in connection with a rescue from two years ago in Washington DC”
The group tweeted again Thursday“We will address the claims regarding the 5 deceased children found in Lauren Handy’s apartment at a press conference in DC. Tune in Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. EST.”

CNN has contacted attorneys for Handy and Darnel. There were no lawyers listed for the other six people charged.

CNN also contacted PAAU.


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