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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-life attorney Martin Cannon from the Thomas More Society urgently requested congressional intervention to prevent the Washington, D.C., medical examiner from destroying evidence of potential federal crimes by discarding the fetal remains of five late-term aborted babies that may have been killed by infanticide or partial birth abortion. 

In response, Republican Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) issued a letter demanding the D.C. medical examiner preserve and examine the bodies. 

READ: Congress urged to investigate potential federal crimes in DC abortion case before evidence is destroyed 

In a letter dated February 7 to Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), and provided to LifeSiteNews, Cannon argued that, “If law enforcement will not investigate where probable cause raises a serious possibility of a federal crime in Washington, D.C., it seems the investigation falls on Congress itself.” 

In response to the situation, Sen. Cruz, as ranking member of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, issued a letter on February 8 to Washington’s Mayor Bowser, Chief Medical Examiner Diaz, and Chief of Metropolitan Police Smith, “demanding in the strongest possible terms” that the D.C. medical examiner not dispose of the bodies of the five aborted babies in the case.  

In the letter, also provided to LifeSiteNews, Cruz reiterated his previously ignored request that “Mayor Bowser and Police Chief Smith direct the Chief Medical Examiner Diaz to conduct an autopsy of each of these five children’s bodies.” 

READ: DOJ advised DC medical examiner to dispose of aborted baby bodies: lawyer for pro-life activists  

Excoriating the continued refusal of the medical examiner to investigate the cause of death of the five babies, Cruz warned that, “should the D.C. Medical Examiner’s office decide not to conduct timely autopsies, or preserve the bodies of these babies for outside examination, the Senate Judiciary Committee will have no choice but to expand this issue into a full hearing featuring the Department of Justice and the Office of the D.C. Medical Examiner as witnesses before the American public.”  

The Texas senator demanded a reply indicating compliance no later than February 9. The texts of the two letters are provided below. 

Letter of Martin Cannon to Congressman Jim Jordan 

Dear Representative Jordan:  

I am one of several Senior Trial Counsel at the Thomas More Society. I’ve been defending Lauren Handy in Washington, D.C. on federal felony charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s office. 

Ms. Handy participated in a sit-in at the Washington Surgi-Clinic run by Dr. Cesare Santangelo. She did so because she had good probable cause to believe that very late term children were being born alive there and left to die.  

The probable cause for Ms. Handy is also probable cause for any law enforcement investigation. But neither the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Washington, D.C. Police, nor even the D.C. Medical Examiner has conducted a proper investigation. This despite the fact that Ms. Handy actually provided local law enforcement five very late term babies she was given by a medical waste truck driver outside the Santangelo clinic. The age and condition of those babies raise serious questions about whether they were legally aborted.  

Those babies and other evidence we have make it more likely than not that some babies at the Santangelo clinic are in fact born alive and left to die.  

The examiner’s office has had the babies now for nearly two years, and no one can say they were killed even legally because no investigation has been done. If law enforcement will not investigate where probable cause raises a serious possibility of a federal crime in Washington, D.C., it seems the investigation falls on Congress itself. 

Probable cause lies in the following: 

  1. The Society of Family Planning is a pro-abortion organization supporting the industry. In 2011, it published practice guidelines for abortion providers that addressed “transient fetal survival.” This refers to a living baby arriving outside the womb during an attempted abortion. The Society indicated this occurs up to 50% of the time where the attempted abortion has three features:
  2. It is done after 18 weeks gestation;
  3. It is done by labor induction, not by dismemberment within the womb;
  4. It is done without using feticide to kill the child ahead of time.

The guidelines indicated that the rate of live birth was increased at later gestational ages (presumably tending more toward the 50% as the age goes farther beyond 18 weeks). 

  1. In 2018, Springer, et ai confirmed the 50% rate at 20 to 24 weeks gestation. They studied 241 abortions between 20 and 24 weeks performed with labor induction in lieu of feticide. They found that live births occurred in 122 of them, which is 50.6%. Beyond that, they also found that the duration of survival was up to 4½ hours, with a mean survival of just over half an hour. The mean is not the average, and the average may well have been longer.
  2. Dr. Santangelo does abortions in exactly the manner the two publications address: Far beyond 18 weeks, with labor inducing drugs as opposed to dismemberment, and no feticide. He has acknowledged these things in a video 1 possess, and seems also to acknowledge that live births occur.
  3. In the same video, Dr. Santangelo admits that if a baby is born alive, he will not assist it.
  4. The federal Bom Alive Infants Protection Act provides that a child born alive during an attempted abortion is a person. That child is thus entitled to all protections any other person would receive under the law. That means she is entitled to assistance from the doctors and nurses and that failure to assist her is criminal.
  5. Federal law prohibits partial birth abortions also.
  6. In March of 2022, Ms. Handy and Terrisa Bukovinac were allowed by the driver to retrieve a box of over 115 aborted children from a Curtis-Bay waste truck outside the Santangelo clinic. Five of them were very late tern and showed signs of live birth or partial birth abortion. Those five were promptly turned over by Ms. Handy and Ms. Bukovinac to local law enforcement. The others were provided a dignified burial by a Catholic priest, also arranged promptly. Press accounts suggesting Ms. Handy is a “fetus hoarder” are grossly incorrect.
  7. One of the babies, called Christopher X by Ms. Handy and Ms. Bukovinac, appears to be over 30 weeks gestation, well beyond viability. There is exactly a 50% chance that this baby, not a hypothetical baby, was born alive and survived for perhaps hours unattended by Dr. Santangelo. The same might be said of the baby named Pheonix.


The 50% of live births in the exact type of abortion that Dr. Santangelo performs; 

His acknowledgement of such births in the video;  

His stated intention not to assist them, and  

The corroborating babies that came off the truck,  

It is INCONCEIVABLE that viable children are not being born alive at the Santangelo clinic and simply left to die. 

I feel strongly that a congressional investigation is imperative here, and l will appreciate your consideration. 


Martin A. Cannon  

Senior Trial Counsel 

READ: Pro-life leaders demand Congress repeal FACE Act after new convictions in Tennessee  

Letter of Sen. Ted Cruz to Washington DC Mayor Bowser, Chief Examiner Diaz, and Chief of Police Smith  

Dear Mayor Bowser, Chief Examiner Diaz, and Chief Smith,  

I write today in my capacity as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary for the second and final time to provide notice of your obligations to preserve evidence for future Congressional oversight hearings. As you are all aware, the United States Congress holds unique jurisdiction and constitutional authority to oversee the District of Columbia under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17 of the United States Constitution. This oversight role becomes especially important, however, when the executive leadership of Washington, D.C. demonstrates a candid willingness to obstruct justice by refusing to investigate, much less respond to, basic inquiries about the manners and means of fetal deaths, deaths that could very well have occurred through procedures conducted in violation of federal law.  

Recent news indicates that the Department of Justice reportedly advised the D.C. Chief Medical Examiner to dispose of the remains of five aborted preemie-sized babies, as disclosed by attorney Martin Cannon, who is representing pro-life activists currently being prosecuted by the Department of Justice. As he explains, on a February 5, 2024: “[he] got a call from the medical examiner’s office indicating that the Department of Justice… advised [the medical examiner’s office] that there is no reason to keep those babies anymore.” In reaction to this directive, Cannon reported that: “The medical examiner’s office… tells [him] that if [they] don’t have an order to the contrary, by the end of this week … [then] they will dispose of the babies.” Cannon went on to express concern over the medical examiner’s decision to instantly heed the Department’s directive to dispose of the evidence, questioning why the examiner’s office would take “such stark marching orders from the DOJ.” 

This news comes almost two years after Lauren Handy and her colleague Terrisa Bukovinac made a chilling discovery outside a Foggy Bottom-based abortion facility known as Washington Surgi-Clinic, which is operated by Dr. Cesare Santangelo, an abortionist who is known for conducting late-term abortions. There, these two pro-life activists encountered the mutilated bodies of five preemie-sized aborted babies, babies that, given their size and maturity, may very well have been aborted in violation of federal law. Accordingly, this evidence warrants an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the unusually-mature fetal remains, particularly regarding whether ‘the Five’ were born alive and left to die, subjected to partial-birth abortion procedures, or were otherwise murdered following botched abortion attempts.  

As I made your offices aware on April 8, 2022, under the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, a partial-birth abortion occurs when a physician partially delivers a living child for the purpose of performing an overt act that intentionally takes the life of the child.5 The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on partial-birth abortions in Gonzales v. Carhart. Additionally, Congress passed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 to provide equal protections for children who are born alive during an abortion. 

As I previously explained to your offices, it is a grave injustice both that these children may very well have been aborted in violation of federal law, and that the D.C. government that Congress oversees remains unwilling to investigate the circumstances. Despite the grotesque evidence of potentially illegal abortion procedures, the District of Columbia and Department of Justice authorities have consistently stonewalled inquiries into the deaths of the five aborted babies, with the D.C. police claiming the case remains “open” and “under investigation” as recently as August 2023, despite no meaningful progress or updates in over sixteen months. The Mayor’s Office has similarly evaded questions about the matter, redirecting queries and refusing to comment, while the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not disclosed whether any autopsies have been conducted on the babies’ bodies. Simultaneously, while efforts to seek justice for these innocent lives have been thwarted at almost every conceivable turn, Mayor Bowser has aggressively characterized the charges facing peaceful pro-life activists like Lauren Handy, accusing her of “tampering with fetal remains,” “blockad[ing]” the entrance to a D.C. abortion clinic in October 2020, and committing “serious violations of federal law.”  

Even more disturbing, however, is the recent news that the Medical Examiner’s Office has expressed concrete plans to destroy all evidence before justice can be achieved. To do so, would deny these five innocent victims justice and assume the cause and nature of these children’s deaths without conducting any investigation, without performing any autopsies, and without even affording these children a proper, respectful burial.  

In April 2022, I joined letters demanding that you, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) open investigations to determine whether these children were aborted in violation of federal law, specifically the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The letter led by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) sent on April 8, 2022 to the Department of Justice and the FBI reiterated similar requests to ensure preservation of each of the five bodies as evidence for future investigations.  

I write separately today to speak specifically to some of the oversight actions that justify this second and final preservation demand. Specifically, and while I understand that the DOJ is pressuring the D.C. Medical Examiner to dispose of the bodies, I am demanding in the strongest possible terms that you do not do so. Furthermore, I ask that Mayor Bowser and Police Chief Smith direct the Chief Medical Examiner Diaz to conduct an autopsy of each of these five children’s bodies.  

It is highly likely that after the upcoming election in November 2024, control of the Senate will shift to the Republican Party. At that time, when I am Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, I will schedule hearings on likely violations, like those at issue with these five children, such as the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. These hearings will also no doubt scrutinize the behavior of those who obstructed Senate investigatory efforts by willfully destroying evidence despite not one, but two, demands to preserve evidence. To be clear, the remains of these five children are critical evidence in the Congressional oversight that the Subcommittee on the Constitution will conduct in the imminent future. Should the D.C. Medical Examiner’s office decide not to conduct timely autopsies, or preserve the bodies of these babies for outside examination, the Senate Judiciary Committee will have no choice but to expand this issue into a full hearing featuring the Department of Justice and the Office of the D.C. Medical Examiner as witnesses before the American public.  

Please confirm proof of your compliance with these evidence preservation demands no later than February 9, 2024.  


Ted Cruz  

Ranking Member, Subcommittee on the Constitution  

U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary