A month has passed since the bodies of five fully developed babies were recovered from Cesare Santangelo’s abortion business, Washington Surgi-Clinic, and still, the D.C. medical examiner has not performed autopsies on them, despite the suspicious circumstances of their deaths.
All five babies appear to have been old enough to survive outside the womb, and it is widely speculated that Washington Surgi-Clinic might have broken the law in bringing about their deaths. Since there is no evidence to suggest they were aborted legally, multiple physicians have suggested that the babies’ deaths might have been caused by partial-birth abortion, infanticide, or a violation of the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.
Sadly, in Washington, D.C., abortion is legal through birth. However, partial-birth abortion (i.e., when an abortionist intentionally kills a child after the child has already partially emerged from the birth canal) is illegal per federal law. And D.C. has several city laws that could apply if any of the five babies were, in fact, born alive (such as prohibitions against murder, prohibitions against “cruelty to children,” and a newborn safe haven law).
D.C. officials’ decision not to investigate the deaths of these five babies is consistent with the lack of concern for — and even promotion of — infanticide around the country.
In recent months, there has been a disturbing increase in efforts to legalize infanticide. A bill being considered in California, AB 2223, would allow mothers to escape criminal charges if they killed their children within the “perinatal period.” The radically pro-abortion World Health Organization’s definition of the perinatal period includes “until 7 completed days after birth.” Notably, similar legislation was introduced in Maryland this year and failed.
The push to legalize infanticide should not come as a shock. After all, infanticide is not that far removed from abortion — and is literally inches removed from partial-birth abortion. Federal laws protect unborn children from partial-birth abortions. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whose stated mission is to “enhance the health and well-being of all Americans,” is led by former Attorney General of California Xavier Becerra, who has repeatedly refused to acknowledge that partial-birth abortion is illegal.
When asked by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), “Do you concede that partial birth abortion is illegal per the law?” Becerra responded, “Under the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade, women have reproductive rights that they are entitled to enforce and that they are entitled to have the government respect. I will do everything I can to make sure a woman’s rights and reproductive care are defended.”
Banks’ question was never about women’s rights; it was about whether an infant can be legally killed halfway through the birthing process.
Yet, the lack of respect for life isn’t just a California problem; it is mirrored by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who refuse to support legislation protecting infants who have completed the birthing process.
Currently, not a single House Democrat has signed on to a discharge petition in support of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a bill that would require health care practitioners to provide the same medical care to infants born alive after a failed abortion that they would to any other infant born at the same gestational age. And so, as it stands, there is no federal requirement that medical assistance be administered to any baby born alive after an abortion attempt. Thankfully, some states (18) have their own laws requiring medical care to be given to abortion survivors; however, D.C. has no such law. This fact makes it even more necessary that the D.C. medical examiner perform an autopsy on the five babies found to determine if they suffered an illegal abortion or an act of infanticide.
The slow push to legalize and normalize infanticide is already underway. Unsurprisingly, those leading the charge are accusing pro-life activists (who are working to bring justice and save babies born alive) of “tampering with fetal remains” and “absurd and disingenuous” arguments.
America must turn back. There must be justice for the five babies whose remains were recovered from Cesare Santangelo’s abortion business, and the legislative efforts to legalize infanticide in California must be stopped.
If you are a California resident, click here to ask your state legislator to vote “NO” on AB 2223, a bill decriminalizing infanticide.
Originally published at the Family Research Council.
Mary Szoch serves as the Director of the Center for Human Dignity at Family Research Council. In this position, Mary researches, writes, and coordinates collaborative efforts with other pro-life advocates on policies surrounding life and human dignity.