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Gosnell all over again: Will media ignore Houston abortion scandal?

By   /   May 16, 2013  /   News  /   13 Comments

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org

Photo illustration by Operation Rescue

Houston-area prosecutors announced a criminal investigation of abortionist Douglas Karpen on Wednesday.

HOUSTON – A dead mother, gruesome photos of late-term babies with their necks snipped, authorities unwilling to intervene – the allegations reported this week by Operation Rescue against Houston abortion provider Douglas Karpen have much in common with the case of Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted Monday on three counts of first-degree murder for snipping the necks of babies just after they were born.

It remains to be seen whether the cases will share another characteristic: a near-total media blackout that only ended when public outrage reached a crescendo on social media.

On Feb. 8, 2013, the Texas Medical Board dismissed accusations against Karpen due to “insufficient evidence,” despite on-the-record testimony from three of his former employees and graphic photos of babies alleged to be past the 24th week of development, which is the state’s limit for legal abortion.

The employees testified they saw Karpen’s practice falsify ultrasounds to show ages younger than 24 weeks, of conducting abortions past the 28th week, and of witnessing patients touched inappropriately while under sedation, among other legal violations.

The photos, which Operation Rescue published on its website, “depicted two babies aborted well beyond the legal limit of 24 weeks in Texas. Their necks had been cut,” according to the group.

“The photos show babies that are huge, with gashes in their necks, indicating that these babies were likely born alive, then killed, just as Kermit Gosnell did at his ‘House of Horrors’ clinic in Philadelphia,” Operation Rescue president Troy Newman said in a statement.

Operation Rescue also produced this video of an interview with three of Karpen’s former employees:


The Harris County District Attorney’s office and Texas Department of State Health Services announced on Wednesday they have begun investigations.

The Houston Chronicle and Texas Tribune jointly reported on Operation Rescue’s allegations, which also made a couple of local news broadcasts.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst issued a statement late Wednesday, which drew some more media coverage.

“In a week when serial murderer Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of killing babies, I read with disgust about the allegations of Houston-based abortionist Douglas Karpen performing illegal late-term abortions surrounded by appalling sanitary conditions in his clinic,” Dewhurst said. “The Harris County authorities should perform a full-scale investigation and take action against those who broke state law.”

The Austin American-Statesman ran a short item on Dewhurst’s statement, while the only piece in the Dallas Morning News was by editorial writer Rodger Jones pointing out that “readers of my newspaper and nearly all others across Texas hadn’t seen an item about a priority investigation announced both in Houston and Austin yesterday into a Houston abortion doctor.”

Jones acknowledged that the allegations aren’t proven, but was stunned to see the report treated like “a second-tier local story for Houston” and put in “the non-story category” everywhere else.

After “the Gosnell horrors were publicized,” he wrote, “and after the mainstream media got blasted for ignoring it, I would have thought the Houston investigation would be a bigger news item.”

Contact Jon Cassidy at [email protected] or @jpcassidy000.


Jon Cassidy was a former Houston-based reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • It is very cruel to publish the photos of aborted fetuses that may have been loved and wanted by their mothers. It is private medical information stolen from sad women that in many cases wanted their babies. Late term abortions are not usually poorly thought out. Only an animal like you would publish such hurtful information. Shame on you.

  • Jon Cassidy

    Astounding. Every sentence in your comment, save the last one, is factually wrong. The babies in the photos weren’t aborted; they plainly had their necks slashed after birth. A human being is not someone else’s “private medical information.” Neither can information be stolen. Late-term abortions are by definition poorly thought out. We did not publish the photos; we linked to them, and rightly so. If the photos do not prick your conscience, that’s your business.

  • mingy

    I agree!

  • The facts are that a woman had an abortion and that it is her medical information that you appropriated to your on lying and false use. The photos are aborted fetuses and those fetuses are not yours and you have no proof how or when they died other than false information attained by paying 25,000 dollars and new jobs to disgruntled employees. Your actions are immoral. You did it to raise money. You are using the sad death of what was probably a wanted fetus to further your own money raising campaign. You are a despicable human and those who support you are simply dupes.

  • Mingy, you have a choice, you may choose to save born babies or you may let them die and instead attempt to force the birth of dead fetuses. Your choice is to let the born babies die. Search “Scientific Abortion Laws” on Google.

  • Jon Cassidy

    Looking at your comment history, I can see that you’re a cretinous and obsessive lunatic.

  • My Reply: At least when given the opportunity to save born life or dead fetuses, I choose to save born life.
    Pro lifers choose to murder born babies.

  • Rick

    Abortionist Doctors taking advantage of low information Democratic voters aka obamaones.

  • Sherry Early

    If the baby was “wanted” how did it and its mom wind up at an abortion facility?

  • If they loved and wanted

    their babies I doubt they would be in this “ABORTION’ clinic ! ! ! !

  • Many women are forced to abort due to the fact the fetus is dead or not capable of life. Most late term abortions are of that type. No sane woman would risk her life to give birth to a dead fetus. And if you have looked at the photos of the fetuses the subject of this article then you would know that this late term abortion was justified.

  • I suggest you read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trisomy

    There are numerous afflictions that make it impossible for the fetus to live. In such a case it would be fine for the woman to be in an abortion clinic.

    But most importantly, abortion saves life and pro lifers cause death. Look at my avatar, the yellow graph is births before Roe and the green graph is births after Roe. Pro lifers were responsible for the loss of 6 million babies before Roe and Pro Choice advocates caused an increase in births of over 25 million. So abortion is proved to save life and pro lifers are proved to cause death.
    Search “scientific abortion laws” on google and look for the yellow and green graph for citations.

  • IgnoranceIsBliss

    I agree. Those medical procedures are preformed in a hospital not a back alley clinic?