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Woman Files Lawsuit Against 'Gosnell of Texas' After Sustaining Life-Threatening Injuries During Abortion

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By Melissa Barnhart , CP Reporter
March 19, 2014|7:46 am
  • abortion
    (Photo: REUTERS/Jim Young)
    Pro-life and pro-choice supporters square off in an argument during a demonstration marking the anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision in Washington, January 24, 2011.

Editor's note: Warning, graphic details about late-term abortion procedures are described in this article.

A Texas woman has filed a lawsuit against late-term abortionist Douglas Karpen, who's been dubbed the Gosnell of Texas, after she sustained life-threatening injuries at one of his three abortion facilities last year.

Melanie Mendoza filed suit in Harris County Court on March 10, alleging that Karpen ruptured her uterus during a late-term abortion, and failed to inform her that she needed emergency surgery to save her life after the botched procedure.

On Feb. 14, 2013, a 20-year-old Mendoza was sitting in a small waiting room with 12 other women who were awaiting their abortion procedures at Aaron Women's Clinic in Houston. Twenty-three weeks pregnant at the time, and the last girl left in the waiting room, Mendoza says in her lawsuit that the staff had forgotten she was at the clinic and when they discovered their error, Karpen rushed through the late-term abortion procedure, which led to her internal injuries.

The lawsuit states that when the case is tried, the OB/GYN who performed emergency reparative surgery on Mendoza the day after her botched abortion will testify that "… the injuries caused by Dr. Karpen was one of the worst injuries to a uterus that she had ever seen or read about."

According to the lawsuit, Karpen's negligence has "caused irreversible and permanent damage to Mendoza's uterus, such that, in reasonable medical probability, she will be in extreme danger should she ever become pregnant."

Karpen was investigated by the Harris County District Attorney's Office and Texas Department of State Health Services last year, after former employees accused the abortionist of performing illegal late-term abortions and killing babies born alive, a violation of the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act.

The Harris County DA's office told The Christian Post late Tuesday that the child abuse division didn't find enough evidence at Aaron Women's Clinic to pursue the charges against Karpen.

Unlike the unannounced raid conducted by state and federal authorities who investigated Kermit Gosnell, officials in Texas announced their pending investigation of Karpen, thus giving him time to clean his abortion facility and dispose of any evidence that might prove he's performing illegal late-term abortions, according to leaders of pro-life groups who are following the case.

Cheryl Sullenger, the senior policy adviser for Operation Rescue, told CP on Tuesday that she believes Mendoza's botched abortion might have been prevented if the Texas Medical Board had acted on the pro-life group's original complaint against Karpen in 2012.

"If they had acted on our original complaint, maybe she could've been spared that," she said, adding that Operation Rescue has filed another complaint with the Texas Medical Board against Karpen. Sullenger said they've asked the board to investigate the Mendoza case and to re-open an investigation into allegations that Karpen performed illegal late-term abortions.

In a video released last May by Life Dynamics, a Denton, Texas-based pro-life organization, three former employees of Karpen's discussed the details of routine late-term abortions at his clinic, where babies were allegedly born alive and then subsequently killed by the abortionist.

One of the former employees told Life Dynamics, "Most of the time we would see him (Karpen) where the fetus would come completely out and, of course, the fetus would still be alive because it was still moving. You could see the stomach breathing and that's when he would snip the spine. ... And the soft spot was one of the spots [where] he would take one of the forceps, the dilators, and stick it down the soft spot of the fetus' head."

Karpen would kill babies by jamming some kind of instrument into the soft spot, "or actually twisting the head off the neck, with his own bare hands ... Sometimes he would go through the stomach as well. He would like, force it through the stomach, the instrument, anything that he could get to. I normally saw either the snipping of the spine or the introduction of the instrument in the soft spot of the fetus normally or twisting of the neck."

Color photos released by Operation Rescue show graphic images taken by the former employees' camera phones allegedly showing the remains of babies past 24 weeks gestation that had "their necks cut" by Karpen, similar to the methods used by abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was sentenced on May 13, 2013, to serve three life sentences in prison.

The Christian Post attempted to contact Karpen for comment on this story, but our calls were not answered.

Editor's note: Warning, graphic details and images of aborted babies are shown in the video below:

 

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