Abortion clinic first to close in Dallas after House Bill 2 passes

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by SEBASTIAN ROBERTSON

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaasebastian

WFAA

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Updated Friday, May 23 at 8:39 PM

DALLAS -- The North Park Medical Group is the first Dallas abortion clinic to close following the passing of House Bill 2.

That bill, put into effect in November, tightened the restriction on abortion clinics across the state.

Friday, the Department of State Health Services confirmed to News 8 the medical group verbally notified the state they will no longer provide services. A source close to the clinic tells News 8 they were unable to secure hospital admitting privileges, one of the requirements of the new state law.

Their license is still valid, but the property is locked up.

Karen Garnett, executive director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee has been advocating for the closure of these clinics for decades. The numbers are in her favor.

“We called North Park every week, and from the very, very beginning - even in the earliest days - staff members were telling us tearfully they were going to be closing,” Garnett said.

She claims there were as many as a dozen clinics in Dallas in the 90s. On Friday, the state confirmed with the closure of North Park Medical Group, Dallas proper will have four.

The Dallas clinic is affiliated with two other Houston clinics.

Houston-based physician Dr. Douglas Karpen is listed in records as running the clinic. He did not return our calls to appear on camera or offer a statement.

State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg authored House Bill 2. She responded to the clinic's closure in a statement:

"Their business is providing abortions in an unsafe fashion. If any clinics are closing the cause is likely due to these clinics not operating at a standard adequate to ensure the health of their patients. What HB 2 accomplished was ensuring that these clinics meet appropriate health standards, similar to a hospital. One of the primary concerns of the majority of the legislature who passed the law was ensuring sound medical practices and the highest standard of care. Both pregnant women and the pre-born deserve every protection under the law. If a facility is closing as a result of the law, then that facility almost certainly was not providing an adequate standard of care."

E-mail srobertson@wfaa.com

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