Justice for the Five Rally outside the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in DC

[Warning & note: This blog post contains graphic images of aborted children, be advised. All images are property of Cassidy Elaine Photography and may not be used without expressly granted permission. I support the work of Lauren Handy and Terrisa Bukovinac on behalf of these children--any disrespectful commenting will be promptly removed and banned from this blog]

I am usually a detailed planner. I like checklists, itineraries, and long to-do lists. But when the story about five later-term babies being found outside Washington Surgi-Center hit the media, I was ready to throw my plans to the wind to find a way to do something for their cause. How incredibly barbaric is our world that we can hear horrific news of this nature, and yet the majority of our Nation’s citizens and leaders are silent in response? I found myself impacted afresh by the issue of abortion when I viewed the images of their mangled bodies—poor, precious children who were brutalized and discarded, rather than loved.

On the day of the release of the graphic images, I found myself incredibly devastated, contemplative—even stuck. Understand, I have been in the pro-life movement for nearly four years and have even been an abortion victim photographer before, but these five children who were killed in DC were very far along and some had shocking wounds from the abortionist’s dirty work. One such child had an incision on the back of her head where the abortionist had likely cut open the child’s skull and suctioned out her brain. This poor girl was around 28 weeks gestation when she passed away from the extremely horrific abortion. Remember that the age of viability was recently changed by the American College of Pediatrics—for many years, viability was considered to be 24 weeks gestation, but with growing medical innovation and technology, neonatologists are now able to save babies at 22 weeks gestation—some hospitals in key places like Alabama are successfully resuscitating and treating preterm infants born at 21 weeks. All this to say, our neonatal medical abilities—as a nation—have advanced. However, while some children were nestled carefully in bassinets while receiving medical care on a ventilator in a NICU, the even older baby at 28 weeks gestation was inside her mother’s womb, signed up to be legally killed at Washington Surgi-Center. This is an absolute travesty. Stating that one child deserves healthcare while another has no right whatsoever to be protected from gruesome late-term abortion is radical, illogical, and utterly unfeeling to the suffering of defenseless children.

I made quick, last-minute arrangements to alter plans, cancel commitments and book a flight so I could make it to a national protest that would happen in just two days.

The California-based pro-life group Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust was heading up the event. I first met their staff in November at a protest against Advanced Bioscience Resources in Alameda. I was grateful to be reunited with some of the most dedicated activists I have ever met in the cause of life—including Terrisa Bukovinac and Lauren Handy of the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising.

Upon landing, the day started off by meeting up with many pro-life activists (it’s almost intimidating to hear some of the biggest names in the pro-life movement as you ready yourself to advocate—phone calls were ongoing between pro-life organizations to communicate important details about the upcoming protest). Next, we made our way to the grocery store to buy roses to lay on the steps of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. This location was selected for the protest because after the bodies of the five children were found, they were turned over to the DC police who refused to preform a proper investigation into the gruesome deaths of these children—even though their condition and wounds make it obvious there was potential that federal crimes may have occurred when these children were killed (such as a violation of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban and/or the Born Alive Infant Protection Act). The DC Police refuse to perform an autopsy on these children, even after groups like Live Action offered to fully cover the cost to have a qualified neonatal pathologist examine the bodies of these children. Thus a protest was extremely necessary.

The Justice for the Five rally included a staff presence from Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, Protect Life Michigan, Live Action, Students for Life of America, Great Life Teens, the Charlotte Lozier Institute, Pro-Life San Francisco, LifeSite News and others.

Here are some of the photos I captured of the rally for Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust.

Anna Lulis of Students for Life of America

Savanna Deretich of Students for Life of America

Stephanie Stone of Students for Life of America

Marianne Brown of Live Action

Kristen Turner of Pro-Life San Francisco

Bryan Kemper of Stand True

Terrisa Bukovinac of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising

Dr. Michael New of the Charlotte Lozier Institute & the Catholic University of America

A.J. Hurley of Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust

Missy Reilly Smith of Women Against the Killing & Exploitation of Unprotected Persons (WAKEUP)

Herb Geraghty of Rehumanize International

Archie Smith & Caroline Smith of Protect Life Michigan

Dr. Monica Miller of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society

[Staff of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, gesturing unprofessionally in response to the protest]

Myah Abraham of Great Life Teens 

Lauren Marlowe of Students for Life

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