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Anti-Choice Activists Push for Texas Abortion Provider to Be Re-Investigated

Robin Marty

A closed investigation into Dr. Douglas Karpen in Houston is re-opening amid anti-choice pressure.

Days after Dr. Kermit Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, anti-choice groups Operation Rescue and Life Dynamics are drawing attention to a Houston abortion clinic where they say the “next Gosnell” has been practicing. In response, the lieutenant governor of Texas has launched a new investigation into the doctor, who was already investigated earlier this year, with no evidence of wrongdoing found at that time.

The groups accuse Dr. Douglas Karpen of performing illegal abortions, of ending the life of viable fetuses, and of improperly charging patients for services. They have made public video testimony from former clinic workers and an undercover video that one former employee “smuggled out” of the clinic. In addition, former employee Deborah Edge wrote an opinion article for supporting the allegations and discussing how she left the clinic with the help of former abortion clinic worker turned anti-choice speaker and activist Abby Johnson.

The complaints against Karpen were investigated and dismissed earlier this year by the Texas Medical Board, which noted in a February 8 letter provided by Operation Rescue that “there was insufficient evidence to prove that a violation of the Medical Practices Act occurred. Specifically, this investigation determined that Dr. Karpen did not violate the laws connected with the practice of medicine and there is no evidence of inappropriate behavior.”

Amid pressure from abortion opponents following the public release of the allegations against Karpen, the state has opened the case back up for further review. According to one blogger for the Houston Chronicle, “Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson’s office finally contacted [Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman] this morning, after [the Operation Rescue report] was published and hundreds of people called Anderson’s office.”

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The Christian Post reports that Republican Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has announced a new investigation into Karpen’s clinic and procedures, saying Harris County authorities would be looking into the accusations.

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