By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or @jpcassidy000.