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.”