D.C. Government Must Provide Justice for 'The Five' in Abortion Case | Opinion

On March 25, pro-life activists obtained the remains of 115 children who had been aborted at the Washington Surgi-Clinic in Washington, D.C. Days later, D.C. Metropolitan Police took the remains of five of the children into custody and transferred them to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Medical experts have commented that publicly available photos and videos indicate that the gestational ages of the five children who are in the custody of District authorities range from 20 to 40 weeks, with one little boy appearing nearly full term.

The doctor at the center of these brutal killings is Dr. Cesare Santangelo, who operates the Washington Surgi-Clinic and conducts late-term abortions. Dr. Santangelo once told Live Action on camera that when someone comes into his clinic for an abortion, if the baby is born alive, "we would not help it." In other words, he lets the child die—he doesn't do anything to help the infant as it gasps for air.

Since the police took custody of the babies' remains, much of the media attention has focused on the pro-life activists who obtained the bodies—not on the abortionist who killed these children, and not on what government officials in the District of Columbia are doing to the remains or whether they're going to conduct an investigation.

That's why we are calling on Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and her Police Chief Robert Contee to preserve evidence for future congressional oversight hearings on the deaths of these five babies.

So far, the evidence suggests that the abortionists at the Washington Surgi-Clinic violated congressional prohibitions on partial-birth abortion, which occurs when a physician partially delivers a living child for the purpose of performing an overt act that intentionally takes the child's life.

DC abortion protest
Pro-life activists march during the 49th annual March for Life, on January 21, 2022, in Washington, DC. MANDEL NGAN / AFP/Getty Images

Partial-birth abortion is illegal, and so is leaving infants to die after being born alive in a botched abortion—exactly what Dr. Santangelo admitted to doing on camera 10 years ago.

These children may have been aborted in violation of federal law, and to add to the injustice, the D.C. government that Congress oversees has so far been unwilling to investigate what happened and may instead destroy all the evidence—including evidence that would assist congressional oversight and help bring justice for the five children who lost their chance at life. So far the D.C. government and city medical examiner have been intransigent, refusing to conduct autopsies to determine whether the abortionists violated federal law. Now it seems they want to incinerate the bodies, rather than giving these children a burial or respectfully preserving their bodies to allow for future investigations.

Mayor Bowser, Chief Contee and those who enable and profit from the abortion industry in this country should be on notice—it is likely that after the upcoming election in November, control of the Senate will shift to the Republican Party. At that time, Republicans must schedule hearings on likely violations of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Born Alive Infants Protection Act—including these five children who were killed in Washington D.C.

Republicans must also conduct hearings on Big Abortion and the abortion industry at large—on how it has directed faulty, one-sided research; promoted statements suggesting that women cannot be equal under the law or succeed in the workplace without the ability to kill their children in the womb; advertised dangerous abortion-on-demand pills that create grave risks of medical complications to both mother and child; and profited from the killing of millions of children. It is clear that this industry does not have the best interests of women or children at heart, and Congress must play its part in protecting the constitutional rights of unborn children and ensuring their safety from the types of horrific deaths that happened in this case.

Pro-life Americans must continue to speak out on this issue, and hold our elected officials and law enforcement accountable for enforcing federal laws protecting newborn infants.

People who violate federal law and take the lives of children should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and government officials should not destroy key evidence to avoid oversight and justice.

Ted Cruz is a U.S. Senator from Texas. Lila Rose is the founder and president of Live Action, a leading nonprofit human rights organization reaching millions of people each day with education on abortion and human dignity.

The views expressed in this article are the writers' own.