Five fetuses have been discovered in the home of a self-proclaimed anti-abortion activist in Washington, D.C., police have confirmed.
Lauren Handy was indicted this week on federal charges alleging that she was part of a group of people who blocked access to a reproductive health centre in Washington.
On Wednesday, police entered her home after receiving a tip about “potential bio-hazard material” being stored in the dwelling, reports The Associated Press.
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It was then they found the fetuses.
Local television station WUSA9 was on the scene Wednesday when Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department searched the home and captured video of officers leaving with red biohazard bags and coolers from the rowhouse basement.
WUSA9 reporter Nathan Baca tweeted an image of Handy sitting on a planter box outside the home on Wednesday. Handy told Baca “people will freak out when they hear.”
Handy did not offer an explanation as to why the fetuses were in her home.
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Police said the five fetuses were collected by Washington’s medical examiner and the investigation is ongoing.
Handy, 28, is one of nine people charged in an indictment that accused the group of blocking access to a reproductive health centre and streaming it on Facebook.
In the indictment, prosecutors said Handy had called the clinic pretending to be a prospective patient and scheduling an appointment. Once there, on Oct. 22, 2020, eight of the suspects pushed their way inside and began blocking the doors, according to the indictment.
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Five of them chained themselves together on chairs to block the treatment area as others blocked the employee entrance to stop other patients from coming inside, the indictment alleges. Another suspect blocked people from coming into the waiting room, prosecutors charge.
All were charged with conspiracy against rights and violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. The federal law, more commonly known as the FACE Act, prohibits physically obstructing or using the threat of force to intimidate or interfere with a person seeking reproductive health services.
The indictment does not mention if anything was taken from the D.C. facility in 2020.
If convicted, they each could face up to 11 years in prison and a fine of up to $350,000.
— With files from The Associated Press
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