During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday regarding abortion access, an expert witness called by Republicans made a conundrum of a claim: Washington, DC, is literally powered by fetuses in fire.
“Body [are] thrown into medical trash cans and in places like Washington, D.C., burned to power the lights of homes and city streets,” Americans United For Life President Catherine Glenn Foster proclaimed.
“Let this image sink in for a while,” she continued. “The next time you turn on the light, think of the incinerators, think of what we do to ourselves with such callousness and numbness.”
Foster, a law graduate from Georgetown who earns more than $190,000 a year as president of the anti-choice group, followed up the claim by accusing people who support women’s right to bodily autonomy of being ” devastating to the fabric of American democracy”.
As of October 2021, nearly 93% of the district’s electricity generation came from natural gas, coal and nuclear plants, according to the DC Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank. Wind and other renewables ― not fetuses ― make up the remaining 7%.
Representatives of the Potomac Electric Power Company (“Pepco”), which oversees the district’s power supply, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
While some states, like Indiana, require aborted fetuses to be buried or cremated at a funeral home, they are disposed of as medical waste in the nation’s capital.
This has led anti-choice activists to accuse Curtis Bay Medical Waste Services, the nation’s largest medical waste incinerator, of transporting and cremating fetuses to produce energy. Recently, an anti-abortion activist found with the remains of five fetuses in her apartment claimed she and a co-worker got them from a Curtis Bay worker. The company denied the allegation, saying company policy prohibited it from transporting fetal remains.
Nationally, approximately 1% of abortions are performed 21 weeks or more into a pregnancy. Doctors usually provide them at this stage because of serious fetal abnormalities or threats to the mother’s life.