Is racism keeping Houston abortion clinics open?

That was the charge at a press conference held yesterday at one of two abortion clinics that are under investigation by the Harris County District Attorney’s office. The clinics, operated by Dr. Douglas Karpen, have come under fire after three former employees charged that the clinic was performing illegal late term abortions, as I noted in this post.

Dr. Day Gardner, Fr. Christopher Terry, Pastor Stephen Broden, and Dr. Johnny Hunter
Dr. Day Gardner, Fr. Christopher Terry, Pastor Stephen Broden, and Dr. Johnny Hunter

Dr. Day Gardner, President of the National Black Pro-Life Union in Washington, D.C., closed her speech with these words:

According to three Karpen informants, in this horrible, bloody place – every day – fully formed, viable children are born alive and healthy before being savagely and viciously ripped apart. Arms yanked off, legs cut, heads twisted off of their little bodies.

Here’s the thing: We understand that Karpen is currently under investigation. This begs the question: Why is Douglas Karpen who is supposedly under investigation for infanticide allowed to stay open?

Black abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s clinic in West Philidelphia closed immediately while under investigation. Black abortionist James Pendergraft’s clinic in Florida was recently raided and shut down immediately by the sheriff.

I don’t want to believe race was a factor with regard to Gosnell and Pendergraft….but was it? Dare I toss in the race card?

This theme was echoed by Pastor Stephen Broden of the National Black Pro Life Coalition, who noted that most abortion clinics are located in black and hispanic neighborhoods. Dr. Johnny Hunter, also with the National Black Pro Life Coalition, challenged black community leaders to rally against the clinics in their neighborhoods.

I was a bit surprised by Father Christopher Terry’s fiery speech in which he called out Cardinal Daniel Dinardo for standing on the sidelines and doing nothing to stop abortion in the area. I mean, this guy was on fire! I’ve never seen a priest call out another priest like that, much less a cardinal.

As for the charges of racism, I understand their point given the history of Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood. But each case is specific and I don’t think that Harris County DA Mike Anderson would consider race as a factor in this case. I’d be much more concerned about the philosophy of the office, given that Anderson appointed so many Democratic women to run the place. After talking to several people inside the DA’s office, I think that they are just being very careful in their investigation and that it is proceeding in a routine way. As well, the homicide detective that the Houston Police Department has assigned to the case has a very good reputation, so I think the charges are unfounded at this point.

Houston Chronicle reporter Carol Christian was at the rally and filed this report. She has several quotes from the attorney for Karpen, Chip B. Lewis, who was not at the press conference.

Karpen’s attorney, Chip Lewis, said Thursday’s demonstration was a “pathetic political ploy” by those pandering to the emotional reaction to Dr. Kermit Gosnell‘s recent trial in Philadelphia.

Last month, Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder in botched abortions. During the trial, prosecutors said Gosnell snipped the necks of babies born alive.

Karpen’s practice in no way resembles what Gosnell was doing, Lewis said.

“There is absolutely no truth to any allegation that Dr. Karpen has violated any law or committed any crime whatsoever,” Lewis said. “He never performed any abortion outside the law.”

On the contrary, Lewis said, Karpen has a long history of cooperating with law enforcement on various cases that have come before him.

In this situation, Karpen has opened all his records to the Houston Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Lewis said.

“We will continue to do that as Dr. Karpen has absolutely nothing to hide,” he said.

Karpen could not have hired a better attorney for this case. Lewis is not only a top notch criminal defense attorney, he also has deep political connections to DA Anderson after helping him get elected. Given that, don’t expect those clinics to close while they are being investigated.

The initial reports from the informants are graphic and appear credible. Lewis will have to undermine their credibility if this ever goes to trial. One of the key questions will be: did you participate in these allegedly illegal abortions? If they did, then are they on the hook for charges? Will the DA give them immunity from prosecution in return for their testimony?

This is going to be a long process.

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  1. Sally Stricklett says

    The lawyer is very specific about the abortionist never stepping outside the law. Not knowing the legal written word, I wonder if he has found a way to interpret the law legally, but not an intended interpretation. I don’t think abortion doctors think about race. IMHO it’s a twisted mind, that enjoys the practice of legal killing of the most helpless. As to his staying open, if they cannot prove filth, and an environment of danger, I can see why they would not close him down. My understanding is Gosnell was filth and germs.

  2. says

    Hey Dave,

    It’s been a week now and I’m still waiting on your list of all those “Democratic women” that Mike hired to run the District Attorney’s Office.


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