Planned Parenthood Shutters Maryland Abortion Facility While Texas Clinics Slowly Reopen

By Cheryl Sullenger

Silver Spring, Maryland – The Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Silver Spring, Maryland, permanently closed on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2017, after the property’s management team realized that abortion is bad for business. Pro-life activists, led by Lauren Handy, persuaded the property management company not to renew Planned Parenthood’s lease using a narrowly-targeted educational campaign. Planned Parenthood had occupied the same office, located at 1400 Spring St. in Silver Spring, Maryland, for over 20 years, conducting surgical abortions.

“The men and women who ministered at that Planned Parenthood for two decades deserve a lot of credit for their perseverance and tenacity,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “This closing is a real victory for women and their babies, as well as for the pro-life activists that labored and prayed there.”

This closing comes just days after Planned Parenthood in Easton, Pennsylvania, announced it would shut down on March 30.

However, in Texas, as a result of the U. S. Supreme Court striking down that state’s abortion safety law, HB2, last June in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, abortion facilities are slowing beginning to reopen. This is perhaps the only state that is bucking the nation trend of abortion clinic closures that has been ongoing since the early 1990s.

Northpark Medical Group in Dallas, Texas, reopened on March 9, 2017. Local pro-life activists told Operation Rescue that owner and abortionist Douglas Karpen was seen entering the facility on its first abortion day. The facility had closed 2013, because its abortionists – including Karpen — all failed to qualify for local hospital privileges as required.

Karpen, who is based in Houston, was investigated by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and referred to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Attorney General for criminal prosecution for allegedly murdering late-term babies who were born alive in a manner similar to that used by the notorious convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell. It was these allegations — first brought by Operation Rescue in 2013 — that first tagged Karpen as the “Texas Gosnell,” and contributed to the passage of HB2, which shuttered the Northpark abortion business and others that year. Those allegations were supported by the testimony of four former Karpen employees and photographic evidence. No action has yet been taken on those House criminal referrals.

Meanwhile, Whole Women’s Health announced that they would reopen its Austin facility in April, now that it no longer is required to meet minimum safety standards.

“Twenty-one abortion facilities shut down in Texas as the result of HB2, and the vast majority of them will never reopen,” said Newman. “For nearly four years those 21 abortion businesses were prohibited from killing babies, and as a result the abortion rate dramatically dropped in Texas, saving thousands of lives. Those closures will continue to spare lives through the coming years.”

A recent national abortion facility survey conducted by Operation Rescue shows that abortion clinic closures continue to outpace the few openings.

“We are winning and will continue to win until abortion becomes no more than a tragic footnote in history,” said Newman.

Houston News Paper Publishes Front Page Coverage of Karpen “House of Horrors” as Former Patients Come Forward

Houston, Texas – Yesterday The Houston Chronicle posted a banner headline article on page A-1 that continued to hammer late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen, noting details of several malpractice suits that alleged horrific abortion complications, including the late-term abortion death of 15-year old Denise Montoya in 1985.

This article came on the heels of letters sent to by Rep. Phil King and 20 state legislators to Richard Kleczynski with the Homicide Division of the Houston Police Department, Ms. Mari Robinson, executive director of the Texas Medical Board, and David L. Lakey MD., Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, requesting a full investigation into allegations that Karpen is conducting illegal late-term abortions then intentionally killing viable babies that are routinely born alive at this Houston abortion clinics. [Read the letters]

Rep. King also sent a DVD copy of an unedited interview of three former Karpen employees conducted by Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics, Inc. on May 3, 2013, to Lt. Kleczynski in order to aid the police investigation.

Operation Rescue originally was contacted in by the employees, who provided documentation of their accusations, including four cell-phone photos of late-term aborted babied that had large gashes in their necks. Former Karpen employee Deborah Edge told Operation Rescue and Life Dynamics, Inc. that Karpen would twist the heads off babies born alive. The wounds suffered by the babies in the photos are consistent with this description. [Read OR’s full exposé on Karpen, including photos and the video interview by LDI.]

Since the Karpen story has become public, women who had abortions done by Karpen have begun to come forward and tell Operation Rescue horror stories about their experiences at Karpen’s Aaron Women’s Center. Their stories include the following allegations:

• Painfully inserts laminaria into women’s cervixes without pain relief when they cannot afford the extra fee.
• Slaps patients that he feels are not complying fast enough with his orders
• Manipulates ultrasound results to either avoid compliance with the 24 week limit on abortions or pad a gestational age in order to charge the patient more money.
• Has untrained staff conducting medical duties for which they are unqualified
• Is rude to heavy women and treats them roughly.

“All these allegations are consistent with information given us by the former Karpen employees who blew the whistle on their former boss and was provided to the Texas Medical Board over a year ago. Instead of doing the right thing, the Board chose to ignore the abuses and protect Karpen. There is obviously some serious house-cleaning that needs to go on at the Texas Medical Board,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.

The Houston Chronicle article also included defensive comments by Amy Hagstrom-Miller, head of the Whole Women’s Health, a Texas abortion clinic chain that itself has run afoul of the law. Operation Rescue conducted an undercover investigation of Hagstrom-Miller’s Texas clinics in 2011, which resulted in $83,000 in fines for the illegal dumping of aborted baby remains.

“Uncovering crimes and reporting them is actually a public service, the farthest thing from a witch hunt,” said Newman. “Hagstrom-Miller tells reporters that she doesn’t want the Attorney General investigating abortion clinics, and it’s easy to see why because Hagstrom-Miller knows her own clinics could not stand up under that kind of scrutiny,” said Newman.

In spite of the high media attention to the Karpen case, authorities have been slow to act.

“We can only imagine that any useful evidence that may have existed at Karpen’s clinics has since been destroyed,” said Newman. “The reluctance of authorities to act will only ensure that the abortion horrors will continue.”

Read the full Houston Chronicle article published June 10, 2013