- Houston doctor Douglas Karpen is accused by four former employees of delivering live babies during third-trimester abortions and killing them
- Witnesses said he would either snip their spinal cords, stab a surgical instrument into their heads or twist their heads off with his hands
- Texas Department of State Health Services is using in its investigating of the doctor
- Accusations come days after Dr Kermit Gosnells was found guilty of murdering newborns at his Philadelphia abortion clinic
By Helen Pow
A second ‘house of horrors’ abortion clinic is being investigated in Texas, just days after Dr Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of murdering newborns at his Philadelphia termination center.
Houston doctor Douglas Karpen is accused by four former employees of delivering live fetuses during third-trimester abortions and killing them by either snipping their spinal cord, stabbing a surgical instrument into their heads or ‘twisting their heads off their necks with his own bare hands’.
Other times the fetus was so big he would have to pull it out of the womb in pieces, Karpen’s ex-assistant, Deborah Edge, said in an Operation Rescue video, which has prompted a criminal investigation into the doctor.
‘Sometimes he couldn’t get the fetus out… he would yank pieces – piece by piece – when they were oversize,’ Edge explained.
‘And I’m talking about the whole floor dirty. I’m talking about me drenched in blood.’
Two of Edge’s colleagues, Gigi Aguliar, and Krystal Rodriguez, also described the hellish scenes which took place at the Aaron Women’s Clinic in Houston in 2011, and possibly two other abortion clinics run by Karpen in Texas.
Another staffer, who remains anonymous, filed an affidavit with her account of events, which the Texas Department of State Health Services is using in its investigation.
‘We have several people looking into the allegations,’ Harris County District Attorney spokesman Sara Marie Kinney told Chron.com.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said he had read the allegations ‘with disgust’ before calling for a full investigation into Karpen and his clinics.
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‘When he did an abortion, especially an over 20 week abortion, most of the time the fetus would come completely out before he either cut the spinal cord or he introduced one of the instruments into the soft spot of the fetus in order to kill it…. or actually twisting the head off the neck with his own bare hands,’ she explained.
‘It was still alive because it was still moving and you could see the stomach breathing.’
The women described one occasion where a fetus that Karpen thought was dead suddenly ‘opened its eyes and grabbed (the doctor’s) finger’ after he wrenched it from the womb. However, it met a similar fate to the other fetuses at the clinic, the women said.
‘He thought it was dead but the fetus actually opened its eyes and grabbed his finger,’ Aguliar said. ‘He was alive. He thought it was deceased already. He was getting ready to put it in the back.’
They also recounted occasions when women were so far along with their pregnancy they were actually induced into labor and in two cases their fetus’ came out while they were in the bathroom.
Rodriguez described another incident where a patient’s fetus fell from her and onto the floor in the clinic’s waiting room.
‘(Karpen) just picked it up with a Chux and put it in the trash bag,’ she said.
According to Rodriguez, as long as patients had the cash, Karpen would perform an abortion well past 24 weeks. A late-term procedure cost between $4,000 and $5,000 at the clinic, they said in the video which was filmed as the clinic was still operating and released on Wednesday.
Edge said she regularly got upset during her work and couldn’t watch when Karpen allegedly killed the newborns. But she said she didn’t know that what he was doing was illegal.
‘We used to look at each other and sometimes our tears would come out with the other assistants,’ Edge said. ‘We would always think “he’s so greedy.”‘