Police in Washington, D.C., have discovered five fetuses at the Capitol Hill-area home of an anti-abortion activist currently facing criminal charges for forcing her way into a reproductive health care clinic.
The shocking discovery was made on Wednesday after police received a tip of "potential bio-hazard material" at the home of Lauren Handy, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. An investigation is currently underway, and the fetuses have been handed over to the medical examiner's office.
The news was first reported by local CBS affiliate WUSA."When I asked anti-abortion activist Lauren Handy what homicide detectives pulled out of her house Wednesday, she only said, 'people will freak out when they hear,'" journalist Nathan Baca posted to Twitter on Thursday. "DC Police now says it found 5 fetuses."
Handy Charged for Invading, Barricading Herself Inside Clinic in 2020
The fetuses were found on the same day Handy, 28, and nine others were indicted on by the U.S. Department of Justice in connection to a 2020 incident where they allegedly forced their way into an abortion clinic in DC, barricaded themselves inside, and livestreamed it all on Facebook.
According to the federal indictment, Handy and eight others plotted to get inside a DC clinic that provides abortions on Oct. 22, 2020, aiming to keep patients from being treated inside.The nine defendants used force to get inside and carried tools with them to barricade themselves, including ropes and chains, in order to prevent patients from getting in, the indictment said.
Handy allegedly called the clinic days in advance, giving them a false name and making an appointment for 9 a.m. that day. Before the clinic opened, Handy then walked up to a receptionist outside, according to the indictment, and gave her false name for the appointment. In the meantime, one of the other defendants was starting a Facebook event titled "No one dies today" to stream the incident.
When the clinic doors opened, seven other defendants allegedly forced their way inside. One nurse fell and sprained her ankle while Handy and others blocked the doors, the indictment said. According to the indictment, Handy instructed the other defendants what to do. They were all charged with conspiracy and if convicted, they face up to 11 years in prison and a fine up to $350,000.
Who is Lauren Handy?
Handy is director of activism for a group called Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, which said in a statement that Handy was released just hours after her arrest Wednesday.
The group describes itself as a "progressive grassroots pro-life activists." "We will not stop mobilizing against violence until every unjust law has been struck down," the group said in a Facebook post.
Fetuses Obtained from Same Clinic Handy Forced Her Way Into
Terrisa Bukovinac, founder of the anti-abortion group, told BuzzFeed News that the clinic Handy and the eight other defendants forced their way into was an "abortion mill" and said the fetuses found in Handy's home were obtained from the same clinic.
The fetuses, however, were not obtained during the Oct. 22, 2020 incident, he said. "On a different time, the babies were retrieved," he said. "There's a direct connection. We're going to lay out a timeline."