Douglas Karpen alleged to have twisted the heads off newborn babies

Editor’s Note: This article contains graphic descriptions that may offend some readers.

An investigation has been launched of a Texas late-term abortionist who reportedly twisted the heads off babies born alive. Douglas Karpen, who works at three Texas abortion facilities, is alleged to have also cut the spines and stabbed the soft spots of the heads of newborns according to the testimony of Deborah Edge, Gigi Aguliar, and Krystal Rodriguez who worked at the Aaron Women’s Clinic in Houston.

If the abortion was over 20 weeks, “most of the time the fetus would come completely out before he cut the spinal cord or he introduced one of the instruments into the soft spot of the fetus, in order to kill the fetus,” explained Edge, a surgical assistant, during a video made by Life Dynamics, Inc., which was produced at the request of Operation Rescue. Karpen also murdered the babies by “twisting the head off the neck kind of with his own bare hands.”

 “If we had 20-something patients, of course 10, or 12, or 15 patients would be large procedures, and out of those large procedures, I’m pretty sure that I was seeing at least three or four fetuses that were completely delivered in some way or another,” said Edge. Sometimes, the baby would have to be taken out “piece by piece,” leaving Edge “drenched in blood.”

Some patients also received such large amounts of laminaria and Cytotec that they would deliver while on the toilet. One patient went to a McDonalds and “the fetus was left in the toilet” there. Rodriguez reported that one baby was expelled in the hallway of the facility and Karpen simply placed it in the trash bag.

Edge reported being disturbed at seeing the toes of a baby coming out feet first splaying open as Karpen killed it with an implement. She said she felt “mad” at patients who asked if the baby felt anything – “why would that matter to you if you’re coming in here to kill your baby?” she reported thinking to herself. But she could not answer that the baby could feel pain because she had to do her job.

The three informants came forward in response to Operation Rescue’s Abortion Whistleblower Program that offers $25,000 for information enabling the arrest of abortionists violating the law. There is also a fourth anonymous informant who filed an affidavit. The women provided graphic photos of babies older than the 24-week abortion limit likely born alive whose necks had been cut.

Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue first reported the facility to the Texas Medical Board when an undercover investigation found that Karpen was violating informed consent laws. She mentioned his history of botched abortions and improper disposal of fetal remains. Shortly afterwards, Edge contacted the organization to report abuses at the facility, and the information provided by the informants was added to the original complaint. The board started an investigation, but on Feb. 8, 2013, Sullenger received a letter stating the investigation was dismissed because authorities found there were no illegal or inappropriate practices.

After the investigation was stopped, Sullenger decided to make the case public and the interview was recorded on May 3, originally without disclosing the abortionist or facility to avoid compromising any possible future investigation. Operation Rescue later revealed the names. A day after Operation Rescue released its full report of the incident, Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst released a statement requesting a full investigation into Karpen’s practices. The Houston Chronicle reported that the Department of State Health Services has launched a new investigation.

“For nearly three years, authorities have ignored our complaints,” Operation Rescue president Troy Newman said in a news release. “Now, thanks to the outpouring of public pressure that has been brought to bear by the pro-life community, the authorities in Texas are finally beginning to act.”