Lauren Handy, DC anti-abortion activist convicted of trespassing


Two anti-abortion activists who earlier this year claimed they obtained dozens of fetuses at a DC facility that offers abortions were sent to jail on Tuesday for trespassing at an Alexandria women’s clinic last year.

Lauren Handy, who faces similar charges in several cases across the country, was sentenced in Alexandria District Court to 30 days in jail, effective immediately. Terrisa Bukovinac was sentenced to four days.

The two were among six activists who, in November 2021, entered the waiting room of the Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, handing out roses to women and advocating against abortion, according to reports and a statement. women’s press. The other four were Joan Andrews Bell, Kristin Turner, Cassidy Shooltz and Jonathan Darnel.

5 fetuses found in home of woman charged with blocking abortion clinic

Bell, another longtime activist, was also sentenced to 30 days. Turner, Shooltz and Darnel were sentenced to four days each, according to court records.

It was the first time the four serving shorter sentences had been jailed, said Caroline Smith, a member of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), a group to which Handy, Bukovinac and most others belong. Handy has previously been jailed for her activism, Smith said, but 30 days will be her longest.

The Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic declined to comment on Tuesday.

“Our actions reflect that we accept the consequences,” Handy told The Washington Post before being sentenced. “I think it brings legitimacy to our movement.”

PAAU said it would hold night vigils outside the Alexandria detention center.

Late last month, Handy was convicted by a jury of trespassing and resisting police during a 2019 protest at an abortion clinic in Flint, Michigan, WNEM reported. She is expected to be sentenced there in September and faces up to two years in prison, she said.

Smith said Handy faces similar charges in California and Ohio.

In March, the Justice Department charged Handy and eight others with federal civil rights violations in connection with an alleged blockade at the Washington Surgi-Clinic in DC in 2020. No trial date has been set. in that case. If convicted of the offences, the defendants each face up to 11 years in prison, three years of probation and a fine of up to $350,000.

After secret funeral for fetal remains, a priest had to make a choice

On the same day in March that the federal indictment was announced, DC police removed five fetuses from a townhouse where Handy had been staying.

Handy and Bukovinac said they obtained them and other fetal remains from an employee of a medical waste company who collected them from the Washington Surgi-Clinic.

The medical waste company denied that its employees handed over any remains to the activists. Handy and Bukovinac said they buried most of them with the help of a Catholic priest at an unknown location.

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