Everything we know about Lauren Handy, anti-abortion activist who says she ‘blessed and buried’ 110 foetuses

Ms Handy’s anti-abortion group describes her as a ‘Catholic anarcho mutualist credited with reviving direct action among young anti-abortion people’

Nathan Place
New York
Wednesday 06 April 2022 13:49

DC police investigate discovery of 5 fetuses inside home

Police say they found the remains of five human foetuses in the home of an anti-abortion activist in Washington, DC. That activist, according to her advocacy group, is Lauren Handy.

A week after the initial discovery, a pro-life group said Ms Handy allegedly had more than 100 other foetuses that she helped baptise and bury in a private cemetery.

Here’s what we know so far:

An anti-abortion ‘progressive’

Ms Handy, 28, is the director of activism at Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), according to the group’s social media. PAAU’s website describes her as a “Catholic anarcho mutualist credited with reviving direct action among young anti-abortion people.”

“Her outreach provides direct aid to those in need, and creates trans inclusive spaces within the pro-life movement,” the site says.

In an Instagram post following the foetuses’ discovery, PAAU praised Ms Handy as a brave activist and asked supporters for help paying her legal bills.

“Rescuers like Lauren … are inspiring a whole new generation of activists to overcome their fears of sanctions and to take heroic direct action on behalf of the unborn,” the group said. “Please help Lauren! She is a hero!”

The indictment

On Wednesday, 30 March, Ms Handy was indicted over an October incident in which she and eight other activists are accused of storming an abortion clinic, knocking over an employee, and blocking people from entering the facility.

In a statement unveiling the charges, the US Department of Justice said Ms Handy led the attack.

In “a clinic blockade that was directed by Handy,” the DOJ said, the nine defendants “forcefully entered the clinic and set about blockading two clinic doors using their bodies, furniture, chains and ropes.”

Each of the defendants has been charged with conspiracy against rights and violating the US Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. If convicted, Ms Handy and her collaborators could face up to 11 years in prison and a $350,000 fine.

On 4 April, Ms Handy pleaded not guilty. The Independent has reached out to her lawyer, Mary Petras, for comment.

Lauren Handy waits outside as police raid her home in Washington, DC

The raid

On the same day Ms Handy was indicted, DC police raided her home on a tip that “potential biohazard material” could be inside.

During the raid, Ms Handy sat on the sidewalk outside, looking distressed. When a WUSA9 reporter asked what was in the house, she replied, “People will freak out when they hear.”

The next day, the Metropolitan Police Department announced that it had found five human foetuses at the address.

“On Wednesday, March 30, 2022, at approximately 12:30pm, MPD responded to the 400 block of 6th Street, SE, to investigate a tip regarding potential bio-hazard material at the location,” a spokesperson for the department told The Independent. “Upon further investigation, MPD located five fetuses inside a residence at the location. The fetuses were collected by the DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. This is currently a pending investigation.”

No charges have yet been announced with regard to the foetuses. At a press conference, MPD Executive Assistant Chief Ashan Benedict said they appeared to have been aborted legally.

“There doesn’t appear to be anything criminal about that – except for how they got into that house,” Mr Benedict said.

‘Private cemetery’

On Tuesday, PAAU held a press conference and announced that Ms Handy had 115 more foetuses that she helped baptise and bury in a private cemetery.

The group screened a video that purportedly showed activists using a kitchen knife to cut into a cardboard “Curtis Bay Energy” box with a biohazard label before discovering what they claimed were 115 foetuses, most at the early stages of gestation, reported the Washingtonian.

They said a priest came to Ms Handy’s apartment to name and bless the babies, holding a funeral mass before burying 110 of the foetuses in an unidentified “private cemetery”.

Ms Handy, who is the director of activism of the group, said at the press conference: “During the five days they were under my stewardship, the 115 victims of abortion violence were given funeral mass for unbaptised children and 110… were given a proper burial in a private cemetery.”

On 25 March, she, along with several other activists, had gone to a Washington Surgi-Clinic to protest abortions when they found a driver loading biohazard boxes into his truck outside, reported The Daily Beast.

The group allegedly convinced the driver to give them a box, promising to give the foetuses a “proper burial.”

PAAU founder and executive director Terrisa Bukovinac said in the press conference that the US Department of Justice should prosecute Cesare Santagelo, a doctor at the clinic.

The driver’s employer, Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services, has denied the group’s account.

The Independent has reached out to PAAU for more information.

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