Hearing Postponed in Abortion Doctor's Drug Case

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon says he needs more time to consult with Dr. Kermit Gosnell about the plea. Gosnell is due back in court on June 26.

A federal court hearing has been postponed for a convicted Philadelphia abortion doctor facing federal drug charges.

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon says he needs more time to consult with Dr. Kermit Gosnell, already serving life in the deaths of three babies, about a plea.

Gosnell is due back in court on June 26.

Prosecutors say Gosnell ran a “pill mill” by day and a rogue “abortion mill” by night. 

He is serving life without parole after he was convicted this year of killing three babies born alive at his abortion practice.

Federal authorities say he sold prescriptions for OxyContin and other painkillers to people who lined up at his Philadelphia clinic.

McMahon has said Gosnell plans to plead guilty to the drug charges, given the outcome of the murder case.

Federal prosecutors allege Gosnell started running a pill mill out of his clinic, the Women's Medical Society, in July 2009.

Gosnell would charge patients $20 -- if they were paying cash -- to write prescriptions for narcotics such as oxycodone, alprazolam and cough medicine with codeine, according to the indictment. Customers with insurance would pay $10.

Patients would also pay tips to clinic employees of $10 to $20 per set of prescriptions. The patients would then go to pharmacies and have them filled.

Prosecutors say in February 2010 Gosnell wrote as many as 200 prescriptions in one night for controlled substances. In all, thousands of narcotics prescriptions written by the doctor were filled at pharmacies from 2008 through 2010, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges patients did not need to speak with Gosnell to obtain a refill.

Gosnell made more than $200,000 from the alleged acts, according to prosecutors.

It was agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigations who initially alerted Philadelphia authorities to the crimes going on in his clinic.

Agents raided the facility at 3801 Lancaster Avenue on February 10, 2010 to investigate a tip that the doctor was running a pill mill. Once inside, they found unsanitary conditions -- including blood-stained rooms, old equipment and untrained staff.

Aborted fetuses were stored in a basement freezer in plastic food containers and bags next to employee lunches. Severed feet from aborted babies were found preserved in jars around the clinic.

The conditions found inside the clinic led Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to call the clinic a "house of horrors" in a 2011 grand jury report.

Gosnell was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of seven babies. Prosecutors said he delivered the babies alive during late-term abortions, before snipping their necks with scissors.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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