Abortion Practitioner Partially Negligent in Abortion on Teen With Fake ID
by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
April 15, 2004
Houston, TX (LifeNews.com) — A Houston jury has found that an abortionist was negligent when he failed to verify the identity of a teenage girl who came to his facility seeking an abortion.
However, the panel also said most of the blame for the incident rested with the girl herself, who was using a fake ID.
In a case that has attracted national attention, the Harris County jury failed to award Cherise Mosley Hughes the monetary award she sought for the pain caused by the abortion. Hughes and her father, a Pentecostal minister, had testified that the abortion would never have been performed — if her father had been notified.
Under Texas law, abortion facilities must notify parents 48 hours before an abortion is performed on a teenage girl.
Earlier this week, Hughes cried as she recounted the emotional pain she has suffered as a result of the death of her unborn child. Her attorney noted that the Aaron Family Planning Clinic and abortionist Douglas Karpen also put her at risk for a host of physical complications that frequently result from induced abortions.
Hughes and her father did not seek criminal charges against Karpen or try to get his medical license revoked.
Karpen has been performing abortions for nearly three decades. Earlier this week, Karpen testified that he believed that the ID Hughes presented at the time of the abortion was valid.
"I’m sorry the patient did not tell us the truth," Karpen said. "If the truth had been told we wouldn’t be about this now."
In response to the decision, the Houston Coalition for Life said in a written statement, "The Houston abortionist that accepted a supermarket ID from a minor in order to perform an abortion was found negligent. However, the young lady who now carries an emotional scar from that abortion was awarded no compensation for her injuries."
However, pro-life observers note that the abortion industry frequently conceals the truth about both the short-term and long-term risks of abortion, along with information about the development of the unborn child. For instance, research shows that women are less likely to follow through with an abortion if they are able to see ultrasound images of the babies they are carrying. Yet, the abortion lobby routinely dismisses the import of ultrasound imaging.
The groundbreaking lawsuit could help force abortionists to take greater care in verifying the identification of women seeking abortions.
Jared Woodfill, the lawyer who represented Hughes and her family, has said he believes that abortionists will ask for governmental documentation of identification as a result of the verdict.
Hughes was 17 when Karpen performed an abortion on her illegally. She has since married the father of the child and given birth to two more children.
The jury found Hughes 90 percent to blame for the incident, while placing only 10 percent of the blame on the abortionist.
Yet, while the verdict was mixed, Hughes does believe her case has helped shed light on the unscrupulous practice of performing abortions on teenagers without their parents’ knowledge.
Hughes told KPRC-TV that "The mistake that I’ve made, I feel like I have turned it around and have helped many others keep their kids. So, my child, in turn, helped save a lot of other lives."
Related web sites:
Houston Coalition for Life – https://www.houstoncoalition.com