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(LifeSiteNews) —Last November, I observed a growing trend in mainstream media: heartbreaking stories of parents who, after their pre-born child was diagnosed with a disability or life-limiting condition, decided to have an abortion. In almost every story, the writer made clear that the child was wanted; in every story, the abortion was portrayed as an act of love—a heartbreaking decision made not to avoid facing a child with a disability or a short life, but for the child’s own good. I referred to this trend as “compassionate eugenics,” and it is no accident that we are seeing a flurry of these stories as we approach a possible overturn of Roe. 

These stories are heartbreaking but also sinister. Their purpose is to persuade readers that later-term abortion should be available in case a child is diagnosed with an anomaly, or a disability, or a deformity. The logic is simple and brutal: If we ban abortion at any stage, mothers will not be able to have these children killed. The pregnancy may be wanted, but these specific children are not, which is why their parents choose abortion over letting their children live out their short lives surrounded by the love of their families. Abortion is not the only choice, and it is grotesque that it is presented as such. 

A new story at the Washington Post this week is a particularly egregious example of “compassionate eugenics.” The 2,000-word column highlights the story of Emma Belle, who discovered at her 12-week scan that her child had a 99% chance of having Edwards syndrome, or Trisomy 18. Her baby would likely die in the womb or live for only a few hours or days outside the womb. She was told that she could either abort her child or allow the baby to live out her short life. Belle and her husband opted for abortion and, as the Post puts it, “named their late daughter Willow.” She then turned to the Internet to process what she’d done, going onto forums known as “TFMR”—“termination for medical reasons.” 

After posting about her experience on Instagram, she began connecting with others who had also decided to abort their babies. The Post makes clear in the article that the “right” of these women to have abortions is under threat, with pro-life laws being passed in Texas, Idaho, and Oklahoma—with the spectre of Dobbs looming ever closer. Interestingly, a photo of Belle in the article is captioned “Emma Belle holding the ashes of her baby”—the writer was clearly trapped between a pro-choice worldview that insists abortion doesn’t kill a baby, and simultaneously defending the right of women like Belle to abort babies. Another photo shows a painting Belle hung on the wall “to honor her daughter”—of a little pre-born girl. The truth is hard to hide. 

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The Surgi-Center, a Washington, D.C. abortion clinic infamous for offering late, second trimester abortions, and its owner, abortionist Cesare Santangelo, are at the center of a scandal involving possible violations of federal laws against partial-birth abortion and infanticide.

In an exclusive video interview with LifeSiteNews, Lauren Handy, the director of activism at Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), told LifeSiteNew's Editor-in-Chief, John-Henry Westen that, with the help of a whistleblower, her organization rescued and properly buried the remains of about one hundred aborted babies from Santangelo's Surgi-Center.

But, five of the deceased babies were so large and so developed that they suspected the Surgi-Center of engaging in the illegal practices of partial-birth abortion or infanticide (i.e., killing the child after birth) à la Kermit Gosnell.

The shocked pro-lifers then gave the aborted babies to the police and brought the matter to the attention of the D.C. Medical Examiner's office. But, the Medical Examiner's office has refused to take any action, saying they will not perform autopsies on the babies.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to the Department of Justice, asking them to launch an investigation into alleged violations of federal law by Santangelo and the D.C. Surgi-Center, under either the Partial Birth Abortion Act (2003) or the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (2002). *Anyone - no matter where you reside - can sign this petition!

Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there.

Handy and eight of her fellow pro-life rescuers in PAAU are, themselves, now facing jail-time after being arrested by the FBI for conducting a traditional pro-life sit-in in October, 2020, at the very same abortion center from which the late-term deceased babies (mentioned above) were rescued.

Please note that the two events - the pro-life rescue in 2020 and the gruesome discovery of the five near-to-full-term babies in the Surgi-Center's "bio-medical waste" earlier this year - are almost one-and-a-half years apart.

Thus, Handy believes that their recent arrest is no coincidence...and, moreover, that the FBI is being used to create a smokescreen by arresting her and the other pro-lifers.

At the same time, the D.C. Medical Examiner's office does not seem interested in discovering the truth about the deaths of the five aborted babies and possible illegal partial-birth abortions or infanticide happening at the D.C. Surgi-Center.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to the Department of Justice, asking them to launch an investigation into alleged violations of federal law by Santangelo and the D.C. Surgi-Center, under either the Partial Birth Abortion Act (2003) or the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (2002).

The DOJ press release claims that the pro-lifers: "engaged in a conspiracy to create a blockade at the reproductive health care clinic to prevent the clinic from providing, and patients from receiving, reproductive health services."

But, commenting on the arrest, Lauren Handy stated: "Media reports have stated that we ‘invaded’ the abortion center and ‘disrupted’ women from exercising their ‘reproductive rights’. No, that is not what we did."

"We entered the clinic and sought to love the women who were already there for their abortion procedures," Handy said. "We tried to offer them help so they would choose life. We non-violently defended the unborn who were about to be exterminated – the innocent, the most vulnerable, killed in horrific acts of violence and treated as so much trash."

Tireless pro-life activist Dr. Monica Miller, the director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and leader of Red Rose Rescue, told LifeSiteNews that "this is the first time any of them are facing federal charges. That the rescuers were hunted down by FBI agents is unprecedented in the history of pro-life activism."

All of this...possibly...for discovering five near-or-at-term aborted babies at Cesare Santangelo's D.C. Surgi-Center, and for seeking to give justice and dignity to the murdered babies.

The truth now needs to come out!

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition to the Department of Justice, asking them to launch an investigation into alleged violations of federal law by Santangelo and the D.C. Surgi-Center, under either the Partial Birth Abortion Act (2003) or the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act (2002).

Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this urgent petition!

To contribute to the legal defense of Lauren Handy and the other eight members of PAAU, please CLICK on the following link to find out more about their LifeFunder campaign (also operated by LifeSiteNews):

Thank you!


'EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Pro-life hero raided by FBI speaks about the aborted babies she was trying to honor' -

'Pro-lifers arrested in FBI raids, face 11 years in prison for blocking access to late-term abortion mill' -

'BREAKING: Video surfaces of FBI raid, arrest of nonviolent pro-life activists' -

'Court Docs reveal previously unknown patient death due to negligence at late-term abortion facility' -

**Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot of pro-lifers protesting outside the Surgi-Center abortion facility, in Washington, D.C.

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Belle, however, has found purpose in her abortion, launching a group called “@tfmrmamas” along with a website, podcast, and support groups on Zoom. Other women—psychologists, a bereavement doula, a social worker—are joining her. The goal—which is, according to the Post, being achieved—is to connect women around the world to discuss their experiences. Many struggle with the fact that they grieve their babies, but also know that their babies didn’t die—they were killed. This, however, is not presented as cruel, but compassionate—the real cruelty, the writer makes clear, is laws passed to protect babies in the womb. Some women insist that their terminations aren’t actually abortions.  

The Post article does not talk about more gruesome aspects of TFMR. My colleague Caroline Heikoop at the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform recently wrote an analysis of what is discussed on these forums after discovering that many parents ask for keepsakes of the children after they are aborted. Here is one chilling excerpt: 

I read about the different ways in which mothers chose to terminate. Some chose to induce a premature live birth, knowing their baby was too young to survive and not planning to offer them any life-saving support. This way they could still spend time with their baby before he or she died. Others chose the labour route, but a few days prior to birth, their baby’s heart was injected with something that would stop his too-short life. This way, they had a corpse to treasure and express love to, but they felt it minimized the suffering of their baby. Others went the dilation and curettage (D&C) or dilation and evacuation (D&E) route, where their baby was either taken from the womb with forceps or a vacuum, both procedures which tear the baby’s body apart and turn it into a bloody slurry of limbs and other body parts. 

And then I read something that horrified me. In attempting to comfort another mother who was about to go through the experience of having her baby killed, a mother shared that during her own experience the nurses who’d been part of the medical team which killed her baby using the D&E method were so good to her and even provided her with her baby’s handprints and footprints (along with a birth certificate and other memorabilia). For a moment, I couldn’t fathom what I was reading, and then I thought that perhaps I was wrong about what a D&E procedure entails. I looked it up, and Google assured me that I was indeed correct that a dilation and evacuation abortion results in a bloody mess of baby remains. What this means is that someone at that hospital sorted through these bloody remains, picked out each tiny, perfectly formed foot and each tiny, perfectly formed hand, each one attached perhaps only to its own arm or leg, if even, and then pressed each hand and foot to ink and then to paper in turn. I threw up and quickly closed the app. 

There’s a reason details like those didn’t make it into the Post article—because when you read them, it is impossible to believe that it is more humane, loving, or compassionate to allow your child to die peacefully in your arms than have them torn apart by cold metal tools—the only interaction with other people they will ever have in their tragically short lives. 

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.