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Kermit Gosnell, Phila. Abortion Doctor, Seems Confused by Murder Charges, Shocked by No Bail

Kermit Gosnell, Phila. Abortion Doctor, Confused by Murder Charges and Shocked by Denial of Bail
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, File (CBS/KYW)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/KYW/AP) Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia doctor facing eight counts of murder in the deaths of a female patient and seven babies, appeared confused as he listened to the charges against him at his arraignment Thursday.

Gosnell, who was not represented by an attorney, understood that he was to be charged in the case of a 41-year-old woman who died during an allegedly botched abortion at his offices.

However, the 69-year-old did not seem to understand the other seven counts until he was told that they related to live-birth viable babies that he allegedly killed using scissors, reports CBS affiliate KYW.

"Is it possible you could explain the seven counts?" he asked. "I understand the one count because of the patient who died but not the others."

Gosnell was also caught off guard when District Judge Jane Rice ordered that he be remanded without bail.

"Is there some cause to believe I'm a risk or might flee?" he asked.

Rice explained to Gosnell that there is no bail for murder, and he was facing eight counts of it, reports The Philadelphia News.

State regulators ignored grievances filed against Gosnell, who reportedly made millions of dollars over the past 30 years by performing illegal, late-term abortions, and they failed to visit or inspect his clinic since 1993, District Attorney Seth Williams said.

It wasn't until authorities went to his clinic to investigate drug-related claims that they saw the atrocities, "bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses, jars, lining shelves with severed feet," likened to a "house of horrors" by Williams.

After the raid, Gosnell's medical license was suspended and his clinic, which primarily served poor, immigrant, and minority women, was shut down.

Eight other suspects, as well as the doctor's wife, were arraigned Thursday and face various charges for their alleged knowledge and participation in the clinic's illegal practices.


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