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Arrests are made during the rescue at Washington Surgi-Clinic on October 22, 2020DC Area Anti-Abortion Advocacy / Facebook

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Seven pro-life activists were arrested this morning for staging a “Traditional Rescue” and blocking access to Washington Surgi-Clinic in the nation’s capital, an abortion center infamous for offering late, second trimester abortions.

The term “rescue” refers to people blocking access to an abortion center to prevent unborn babies from being killed, or entering the waiting room and directly interacting with mothers who are scheduled for an abortion.

The group was composed of 23 people from different religious and political leanings, all united in the purpose of shutting down the facility for the day. Rescuers blocked the entrances of the abortion facility’s doors and stationed themselves around the complex, to form a physical block on access to the building.

Once inside, the rescuers sought to offer help to families who were seeking abortion, counselling them to change their minds about aborting their babies, praying with them, and informing them on local resource centers.

Lauren Handy, who led today’s rescue and has been arrested multiple times during non-violent direct actions, stated, “I can’t wait for the possible overturning of Roe when this morning 15 plus children are scheduled to die. We are no longer having a debate with evil but confronting it head on — today we are using our bodies as shields to protect our pre-born siblings from abortion.”

At the time of writing, ten police cars are on scene, and seven of the rescuers have been arrested. Joan Andrews Bell, a veteran of such rescues, was one of those arrested, along with Lauren Handy.

The Washington Surgi-Clinic is one of 18 abortion mills in the DC metropolitan area.

Cesare F. Santangelo, the abortionist at the facility, is well known for providing late 2nd trimester abortions and has a history of medical malpractice. In 2011, he was the subject of a lawsuit filed by the family of a woman who died as a result of his medical negligence during an abortion.

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On another occasion in 2013, Santangelo left a newborn baby to die after the baby survived the abortion procedure. An undercover investigator for Live Action captured chilling footage in which Santangelo described the abortion procedure and how he would ensure a baby born alive would not be given the legally required medical treatment to survive.

Dr. Monica Miller, the director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society and leader of Red Rose Rescue, gave a statement regarding today’s rescue: “When someone’s life is in danger there is a moral obligation to do what we can to come to the aid of that person. Everyone with a true conscience knows this is true. This is exactly what pro-lifers do when they engage in a rescue activity. The rescuers are offering help, support and love in the midst of killing, death and despair.”

Miller’s Red Rose Rescue recently staged a rescue at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. The organization was, however, not responsible for today’s rescue in Washington, D.C.

Commenting on the activists today risking being charged with a felony under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to physically obstruct the entrance to an abortion business, Jonathan Darnel said, “Abortion is murder and we need to start acting like it. This is a small step in the right direction.”


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