Fox News Loves the ‘5 Fetuses’ Story, We Regret to Inform You

Anti-abortion groups are promoting unverified claims about how an activist obtained several fetuses, and right-wing media is happy to amplify the story.

Fox News Loves the ‘5 Fetuses’ Story, We Regret to Inform You
Screenshot:YouTube/Live Action (Fair Use)

Earlier this week, an anti-abortion activist who was keeping five fetuses in their Washington, DC, refrigerator revealed that the group they’re affiliated with actually had 115 fetuses in its possession. The press conference in which they shared this information raised more questions than answers, including: Did they really obtain these fetuses from a medical waste truck outside an abortion clinic? Is this all just a big distraction from the fact that the activist, Lauren Handy, is facing more than 10 years in prison for blockading the entrance to an abortion clinic?

Handy is the director of activism for Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), a group that launched in October 2021 (with a misleading name, because opposing abortion cannot ever be progressive). But other anti-abortion groups are capitalizing on the story—most notably Live Action, led by Lila Rose—and right-wing media is all too happy to amplify it for them.

Rose went on Tucker Carlson’s show last night and, during the short segment, she called the fetuses “children” and claimed without evidence that all of the them would have been viable outside the womb and that they were dumped in medical waste buckets. (No one can prove exactly where the fetuses came from.) Then, with zero sense of irony, she cited “the incredible dishonesty of media that is working to protect abortionists.”

Her group also tried to equate the public showing of stolen fetuses to the open casket funeral of Emmitt Till, who was murdered by white supremacists in 1955:

Referring to fetuses as “infants” and “children” is an incendiary choice meant to paint abortion providers as murderers and invite violence against them. Fox News has a history of doing so, and it has resulted in actual violence against providers, including a very high-profile assassination in 2009.

Groups including PAAU and Live Action promoted the unverified claims about the manner in which the five fetuses were aborted, which prompted a letter from 23 Republican members of Congress urging the Mayor of DC to launch an investigation. (Live Action published the letter on its web site and shared it on social.) All of this has been covered across right-wing media from The Daily Wire to Breitbart to a segment on One America News (OAN) that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene shared on Instagram.

On Friday, Rose shared a letter from 69 Republican members of Congress to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding that the Department of Justice investigate the claims. This saga isn’t over.

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