Texas Abortion Provider Now Twice Cleared of Wrongdoing After Operation Rescue Attacks

A grand jury has declined to indict the Texas abortion provider who came under attack from anti-choice extremists earlier this year. Dr. Douglas Karpen, a Houston-based doctor who provides later abortions, has now twice been investigated and twice cleared of any wrongdoing.

Dr. Karpen’s lawyer issued a statement Friday saying that “while the subject of abortion remains a hot political issue,” the district attorney’s office “ensured that this matter would not be affected by the political opportunists.”

The anti-choice group Operation Rescue launched a campaign against Karpen earlier this year, and while Karpen was investigated by the Texas Medical Board (TMB) in February, that group found that Dr. Karpen “did not violate the laws connected with the practice of medicine and there is no evidence of inappropriate behavior.” Following the TMB’s ruling, reproductive rights opponents turned to the Harris County district attorney and demanded a second investigation.

Dr. Karpen was billed by anti-choice activists as a “Texas Gosnell,” despite the fact that his clinics have been routinely inspected by the Texas Department of State Health Services and his clinics remain in good standing. A former clinic employee who described herself as Karpen’s “right hand person in the operating room” compared Karpen’s practice to a “house of horrors,” and a former clinic worker alleged in an Operation Rescue video that Karpen delivered live fetuses in the course of his work.

The Harris County grand jury was not, however, convinced by the allegations. In his statement, Karpen’s lawyer said that “the credible evidence clearly established that Dr. Karpen has always gone above and beyond to ensure that he adheres to the letter of the law in his medical practice.”

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  • Tanya Nguyễn

    If at first he’s found to be working within the law, try try again.


    the people workign outside of the law are the anti-choice folk, who lie to women, legislators, and now cops to get their sick way.

  • marshmallow

    Interesting. Anti-choicers have been talking about him lately, pretending that this is ‘proof’ that abortion clinics are teh evil.

  • LisaC

    Does anyone really think this is about proving wrongdoing in a court of law? Operation Rescue knows that if they scream “Baby Killer!” often enough, some nut will take it upon himself to track down Dr. Karpen save teh baybeez. Mission accomplished. OR will probably even tell him where to look.

    • fiona64

      I keep waiting for someone to sue them for frivolous lawsuits.

  • Flame of Udûn

    Anyone see the photos of the babies heads twisted off?

    • CT14

      I don’t.

      Late term abortions are not pretty. They are also necessary to save the life, health, and future fertility of the mother.

      They are not elective procedures. Those were wanted children who either developed improperly or were in a pregnancy that was killing their mother.

      I trust women, including the women who had these abortions, far more than anti-abortion zealots.

    • JamieHaman

      Neither appears to be a physically normal child. Both appear to have severe defects: of the skull and brain, in #1, and what appears (to me) to be severe facial defects in #2.
      Sad that it is very very likely both women wanted to have these children, and made a very tough decision not to bring a severely damaged child into the world.

      • HeilMary1

        And those fetus worshipers would be the first to bully those grossly disabled children into committing suicide!

        • Cactus_Wren

          Certainly they’d never want TAXPAYER DOLLARS expended on keeping such children alive or helping them towards their best possible functioning.

          • HeilMary1

            A nasty fetal idolater named JustForBob has been posting violent hateful rants on Al Jazeera and Raw Story against Muslims and non-white disabled “moochers” for “stealing his hard-earned money”, never mind that they exist because he insists all fetuses be born!

    • Jennifer Starr

      Pretty obvious that these abortions were done because of severe fetal anomalies–these were wanted pregnancies gone terribly wrong.

    • marshmallow

      Those fetii had health problems that were incompatible with life.

      Unless of course you think women should be forced to birth dead and dying babies?


    • Ivy Mike

      Notice who published the photos. Cheryl Sullenberger. Given that she’s a convicted terrorist and all-out fanatic lunatic, I’d seriously doubt any claims about these remains. That’s, of course, beside the point that they are all obviously severely deformed.

    • cjvg

      So how were these so called photo’s from the clinic obtained?
      Were is patient privacy in all this, I’m sure the women did NOT consent to having their abortions and medical photo’s published.

      Ps who takes photo’s of abortions unless it is a teaching hospital, unlikely claim at best, or most certainly a severe infraction on patient privacy laws

      • Sharon Diehl

        Exactly, there are HIPPA laws to protect a person’s private medical history and procedures. “They” claim these photos were “sneaked” out of the clinic. And, yes, to others who have posted, the first fetus clearly has cranial and facial deformation.

    • Sharon Diehl

      My dear, Flame, you do see that the first photo clearly shows a deformed cranium? Are you one of those nutjobs who thinks a woman should forced to birth an inviable fetus? And how do you know these photos are from the clinic? HIPPA, laws, honey, provide for a person’s medical privacy. This first photo is the one that Operation Rescue says should be sent to every legislature…I agree. Operation Rescue folk are obviously too stupid to see the fetal deformities…if this gets spread around, doctors can clearly show and state that late term abortion is a medical necessity.

  • MillRun

    just my opinion, but gutless troy newman and his obese convicted felon sidekick cheryl are scum.

    • HeilMary1

      Cheryl is just livid that child-free women usually don’t have pregnancy hypo-active thyroid obesity issues.

  • marshmallow

    yeah and these twits are so ignorant that they actually believe that an anencephalic fetus should be allowed to *experience* life once born, if only for a few hours


    • Ramanusia

      They’re part of a cult that worships pain and enjoys inflicting it upon others. Why do you think they revere martyrs, and seek to martyr themselves?

  • Cactus_Wren

    They like to call it “giving the baby a chance”, and usually include an untraceable (almost certainly invented) story about a woman whose doctors told her she had to have an abortion because her fetus was so severely deformed (invariably she refuses, and invariably the story ends with the assertion that The Doctors Were Wrong And That Baby Is In College Now).

    • marshmallow

      Yeah, they also say that doctors are often wrong about fetal deformity, and that an anencephalic baby can be born and turn out to be completely normal and 1) be beautiful 2) be a member of MENSA

      I kid you not.

      • Cactus_Wren

        Exactly. Why do you think I call them “pro-liars”?

        • Jennifer Starr

          Pro-Liar–that term fits so very well.

    • Ivy Mike

      Well, you have to recall always that these fanatics believe that fetii are, in fact, “babies”, and that no action is too extreme when it is to save a “baby”. Also, they truly feel that they are doing “god’s work”.

      Therefore, no lie is too blatant, no act is prohibited, and no phony story or faked photo is off-limits.

      Bottom line? Never, ever trust a fanatic to do anything but advance their agenda, no matter what they might claim. They will cheerfully lie to you to accomplish that goal.

      • Cactus_Wren

        I think my favorite of these stories was of the woman who in her sixth or seventh month had a pelvic exam during which she somehow got a bubble of air inside her uterus. For the rest of her pregnancy she had to sleep sitting up, because (I could not make this up, but I’d like to meet the person who could) every time she lay down the bubble got over the fetus’s nose and mouth and its crying kept her awake.

        • HeilMary1

          I remember that one too, and, sadly, I believed it then!

        • Ramanusia

          um, what??????

          • Cactus_Wren

            That was pretty much my response, too.

  • Flame of Udûn

    Hey Sharon Diehl, I said I wasn’t surprised he was investigated based on those photos, not to mention the fact that THREE clinic workers came forward to complain. That’s all I said. Way to burn the straw man with your response to my comment, which RH deleted for some reason – but I guess you know the feeling.

    • Jennifer Starr

      Considering that the source was a terrorist organization–and yes I mean Operation Rescue–I wouldn’t consider those photos to be credible. And the clinic workers obviously weren’t credible either.

    • Sharon Diehl

      Flame Undone, dear, RH likely deleted your comment because of the link to inflammatory unsubstantiated graphic photos.
      Now I need to go bake Christmas cookies.

  • Ramanusia

    Well, you see where the empathy comes from. It’s clear they’re not human enough to have any feeling for the mother, but the brainless mass of human tissue, THAT they can relate to.

    • RonPaul2012

      Yes, because they are obsessed with ‘potential’ and an embryo is as blank a slate as can be, so they project their greatest needs and desires onto it.

      • Ramanusia

        They also seem to have designs on the “potential” of all those egg and sperm people.

  • Defamate