Anti-abortion community rushes to defend activists who bragged they stole 115 fetuses
Nathan Baca/WUSA-TV

Last week, Washington, D.C. activist Lauren Handy was arrested after police conducted a search of her home and found five fetuses. It was revealed Wednesday that the group she was working with had as many as 115 fetuses they say they recovered from an abortion clinic. Now, Vice News is reporting that anti-abortion groups are coming to their defense.

Anti-abortion activists believe that a fetus is "alive" even if it can't live outside of the womb. At their press conference, the group boasted about stealing fetuses from a medical waste disposal truck driver they said they convinced to let them have the boxes. The company, Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services, denies any such incident took place.

Handy posted on her Facebook in early March that she broke into a Washington medical research lab and took a photo of what she said were fetuses, though nothing other than bags and boxes were visible.

This kind of tactic isn't unheard of in the anti-abortion crowd. Frequently anti-choice groups will post photos and videos of what they say are human fetal remains. There are trucks with billboards showing large photos of the bloody remains that are known to drive around Washington, D.C. from time to time. While president, Bill Clinton encountered an Operation Rescue activist who threw what he said was a fetus at him.

While such a tactic might disgust or repel most mainstream Americans, anti-choice activists have circled the wagons to speak out in support.

"This is not over. This is far from over," said Randall Terry, an anti-choice activist after questions from a Vice News reporter. "We want to see it be a criminal act to murder an unborn baby. Period."

Terry called it karma when abortion physician Dr. George Tiller was assassinated in his Wichita church on a Sunday morning before services. Terry called Tiller “a mass murderer and horrifically, he reaped what he sowed.”

Terissa Bukovinac, the founder of the anti-abortion group that stole the fetuses said that Operation Rescue has long been a point of inspiration to her.

“These are not people who are different from each other in as many meaningful ways as we may imagine,” said University of Oklahoma Assistant Professor Jennifer Holland, who studies anti-abortion activists. “I don’t think that there were ever really meaningful differences in what this movement wanted, and thus it has been an incredibly powerful movement. Slightly different avenues—same goal.”

Over the past several years those espousing so-called "pro-life values" have assassinated doctors, blown up and set fire to clinics, stalked and harassed women and worked diligently to pass laws that remove any possibility of abortion even in the case of rape, incest or the life and health of the mother. A woman in Texas had to be flown out of state to Colorado after her life was in danger due to her miscarrying her pregnancy.