Almost one year after photos of aborted babies’ bodies from a Washington, D.C., abortion clinic shocked the nation’s capital, Mayor Muriel Bowser is stonewalling media requests for information on how, exactly, abortionist Cesare Santangelo ended those babies’ lives.
The mayor’s reticence comes despite multiple requests for clarity and autopsies from Republican lawmakers concerned about whether the babies were illegally aborted. On Thursday, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told The Daily Signal that the lack of action is “unacceptable.”
“Almost a year ago, five dead babies were discovered and linked to a Washington, D.C., abortion facility run by a late-term abortionist,” Lankford said. “Evidence suggests that the babies could have undergone illegal partial-birth abortions or infanticide. Still, nothing has been done to seek justice for these children. This is not only heartbreaking; it’s unacceptable.”
Washington Surgi-Clinic has been around since 1973, according to the website of the abortion clinic, which boasts of performing “abortions from the earliest stages of pregnancy up until 26 weeks of pregnancy.” The District does not have any laws that regulate how late during pregnancy a baby can be aborted.
In March 2022, pro-life activists with the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising took a box from a dolly outside Washington Surgi-Clinic, where Santangelo performs abortions. That box was covered in labeling indicating that it was on its way to be incinerated at a Baltimore waste-disposal facility, Curtis Bay Medical Waste Center, and according to the activists and their photographs and videos, it contained 110 pulverized first-trimester babies and the five premie-sized babies.
It has been about a year since this occurred. On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to The Daily Signal that its investigation into the babies’ bodies is ongoing. The MPD would not comment on the matter further.
When The Daily Signal reached out to the D.C. medical examiner this week, General Counsel Rodney Adams reiterated that communications involving the babies’ bodies “continue to be handled by the mayor’s office.”
The Medical Examiner’s Office directed The Daily Signal to Dora Taylor-Lowe, who is handling the city’s communications on the matter.
Taylor-Lowe texted back and forth with The Daily Signal on Wednesday, then refused to answer texts, calls, or emails when she understood that The Daily Signal wanted more information on whether the babies had been autopsied.
“Mayor Bowser is an active collaborator in the abortion genocide and a traitor to humanity,” Progressive Anti Abortion Uprising founder Terrisa Bukovinac told The Daily Signal. “She has repeatedly put her professional career over the safety, dignity, and health of her district and her refusal to investigate the murders of the five is just another example.”
“Congress must intervene, give these babies their day in court, and pass a national ban on abortion at viability to ensure these crimes never happen again,” Bukovinac said.
It remains unclear whether autopsies have been performed on the bodies of these five babies, which were photographed by Bukovinac (warning: these images are graphic and disturbing). Pro-life doctors who examined the photographs have estimated that Baby Boy #1 was in the third trimester, near term, and was probably already dead when he was aborted.
Baby Girl #1 was in the late second or early third trimester and likely had a decent chance of surviving outside the womb, according to Kathi Aultman, a retired board-certified OB-GYN and an associate scholar with the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute. If she was alive when she was aborted, Aultman said, this type of abortion would be considered an illegal partial-birth abortion.
Baby Girl #2 appears to have been dismembered, according to Aultman, and Dr. Kendra Kolb, a neonatologist, said that “she has evidence of both dismemberment of her upper extremity, decapitation, and organ evisceration as the result of this unimaginably brutal procedure.”
Baby X was still in the amniotic sac, making it difficult to ascertain the baby’s sex or age. Aultman guessed the baby was probably in the late second or early third trimester. That baby may have been born alive in the amniotic sac and left to die, the doctor said.
Santangelo, the abortionist, has not responded to many requests for comment. Pro-life activists (like the women with the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising who found the babies) think he has been allowing babies born alive through his abortions to die in his clinic.
This claim partially stems from undercover videos recorded by a Live Action investigator allegedly showing Santangelo discussing how he would allow babies to die if they were accidentally delivered during abortions.
When the Live Action investigator asked Santangelo whether the baby might “move” if it were born alive, the abortionist told her, “That’s why I try and sever the umbilical cord first, and we wait for that to stop pulsing, and this way the fetus is expired first, so it doesn’t.”
“Has it ever survived?” the Live Action investigator asked, to which Santangelo responded “no, not here,” and added: “Usually at this point in your pregnancy, it is too early to survive. Usually, it will expire shortly after birth.”
“But if it did, what would happen?” the investigator asked him. “Would I have to take it home, or like —”
“I mean technically, legally, we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive,” he told her, according to the video. “But you know, it probably wouldn’t. It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point.”
“When you have a pregnancy that is 23, 24 weeks … if you do everything possible to help it survive, there’s a maybe a 20%-30% chance that it would survive,” he said. “If you don’t do anything then, you know, the chances are much, much less.”
He added that “there are things you can do” to make sure the baby does not survive.
“Obviously, you’re here for a certain procedure, and if your pregnancy were — let’s say you went into labor, the membranes ruptured, and you delivered before we got to the termination of the procedure here,” he continued. “Then we would do things. We would not help it.”
“We wouldn’t intubate, let’s say,” Santangelo explained, adding that he “wouldn’t do any extra” to help the dying baby and comparing letting the baby die to letting a terminally ill person die. “Like a ‘do not resuscitate’ order.”
If the mother were in a Virginia hospital and went into labor, medical professionals would do everything possible to help her baby survive, Santangelo said. “We wouldn’t here,” he said.
“That’s happened before,” Santangelo added, according to the video. “We’ve had patients that, you know, on the second day of the laminaria, they got some contractions, and they panicked, and they were in Virginia at the hospital. They went to the hospital, because they had some pain, instead of calling me.”
“And the hospital helped them to deliver,” he added. “Which was the stupidest thing they could have done … and they did everything they [inaudible] have done, which was help them to deliver.”
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