On Wednesday, pro-life activists Joan Andrews Bell and Lauren Handy were released from an Alexandria, Virginia jail after they spent two weeks in mostly solitary confinement, according to Lifesite News.
The two women, as well as four other pro-life activists, were arrested on November 16, 2021, after conducting a Pink Rose Rescue mission at the Alexandria Women’s Center, the largest abortion provider in the Northern Virginia area.
Most of the activists, including Handy, represented part of the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU), a liberal, feminist, pro-life organization. According to an article from their website, a Pink Rose Rescue is defined as:
A nonviolent direct action in which activists enter abortion businesses, hand out life-affirming literature, pink roses and offer hope and financial resources to the patients at risk of exploitation by the Abortion Industrial Complex.
They were convicted of trespassing charges, and Bell and Handy – the leaders of the group – were sentenced to 30 days in jail while the rest were sentenced to four.
The pro-life warriors were released early from their sentence on Wednesday shortly after midnight. Fifteen supporters and Lifesite News were there to greet them.
According to Lifesite, Bell, founder of The Apostolate Gloria Dei – a Catholic pro-life group, has been arrested over 200 times for saving babies. Handy, Director of Activism for PAAU, has been arrested 30 times.
When a representative of Lifesite asked why she keeps doing this, the 74 year old Bell replied, “because babies keep dying. And I hope, please God, that soon they’ll stop dying. That’s the only reason.”
“If our little brothers and sisters are being killed, we can never quit,” she added. “We can never stop trying to defend them.”
When Handy, age 28 at the time of arrest, was asked how she was doing after being in solitary confinement.
“I’m doing really great actually,” Handy responded. “I’m energized, I’m ready to go back out to the streets, and I’m so encouraged by all the many letters people sent me.”
In March, police searched Handy’s house and found five aborted fetuses, according to The Washington Post. Handy had been obtaining the fetuses and other fetal body parts from a medical waste company worker who was taking them from the Washington Surgi-Clinic in D.C. Handy and PAAU founder Terrisa Bukovinac said they’d already buried most of the fetuses in a hidden location with the help of a Catholic priest.
“Rescue is the past, present and future of our movement,” Handy stated.
When asked why does it need to be like that, she replied:
“Because it’s the only way to directly intervene between the oppressor and the oppressed, between the murderer and the baby,” she replied when asked why it needs to be like that. “And radical acts of violence need to be met with radical acts of love.”
When replying to whether there were moments of despair for her when locked up, Handy responded, “You find a sense of peace when you surrender everything to Jesus.”
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