Ten anti-abortion activists are each facing up to 11 years in jail over an October 2020 incident involving a physical blockade of an abortion clinic in D.C. One of those charged in this case is Lauren Handy. In March, authorities found five fetuses at a D.C. residence tied to Handy, who, like others who have been involved in similar actions, is involved with a group called Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising.
As outlined in news reports, Handy previously claimed she obtained the fetal remains from a worker with a medical waste company, adding she supposedly originally obtained over 100 fetuses, most of which were buried in an undisclosed location with a Catholic priest’s assistance. It’s unclear how she actually obtained the fetal material. As for the blockade, the Justice Department has now newly announced the arrest of Herb Geraghty, the executive director of a similarly styled group called Rehumanize International. Defendants are facing charges of conspiracy against rights and violating the FACE Act. Otherwise known as the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, the law prohibits “using a physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere” with the administration of reproductive healthcare services at an abortion clinic, as the department explains it.
Geraghty “has a passion for building bridges and finding common ground with people across the political spectrum to call everyone to a greater consistency in the fight for human rights,” a bio on the Rehumanize International site says. Geraghty is accused of involvement in an incident in which anti-abortion activists forced their way through the front doors of a D.C. abortion clinic and lined chairs behind the doors before both chaining and roping themselves in the chairs. A staff member sprained her ankle as the group forced their way into the building. A participant live-streamed, while two blocked employees’ entrance. How is that for building bridges?
During the incident, members of the group also stopped a pregnant individual with an abortion appointment at the clinic from accessing the building. What if the person seeking reproductive healthcare that day was fleeing a violently abusive relationship and didn’t have a lot of time to obtain the abortion they sought? What if they were suffering health consequences from the pregnancy, or faced the threat of serious complications, all of which could be made worse by waiting? What’s more important: the lives and safety of people who are actually alive or the propagation of what science has conclusively identified as tissue that could later become a person?
Geraghty allegedly communicated with Handy in planning the D.C. clinic blockade, the department says. Handy assisted with setting up lodging for participants in the stunt, some of whom came from long distances. Geraghty also made the trip, with an AirBnB reservation for him and Handy noted by the Justice Department. The first charges in the blockade case were announced this past March. “The activists also claimed Tuesday that some portion of the Baltimore region’s household electricity is generated by burning fetal remains,” an April article about the aftermath of the discovery of the fetuses and initial charges says. Where do these people get this stuff?