Heartbreaking and treacherous are just two words being used to describe the latest abortion story out of Florida.
According to federal authorities, 28-year-old John Andrew Welden tricked his pregnant 26-year-old girlfriend, Remee Lee, into taking a pill used to induce labor and cause an abortion. Lee’s baby died after she unknowingly took the medication.
Needless to say, the couple split up, and the woman is devastated, according to her attorney, who has filed a lawsuit in the state court on her behalf.
"Whenever a woman is robbed of her ability to give birth and have a child, I don't think there's any greater harm you can cause somebody," said Gil Sanchez. "She's devastated. She still can't believe this happened to her."
Welden, the son of a Florida fertility doctor, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of product tampering and first-degree murder. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murder charge.
His lawyer, David Weisbrod, declined to comment to The Associated Press, but said during a court hearing Wednesday that his client’s actions were aberrant, pointing out that Welden had no criminal history. A U.S. magistrate judge ordered him held without bond.
According to court documents, Lee was elated when she became pregnant in February, but Welden, her boyfriend of nearly a year, did not share her joy and encouraged her to terminate the pregnancy.
In late March, the records say, Lee went to the office of Dr. Stephen Welden, her boyfriend’s father, for an exam. Welden told Lee his father had discovered she had a bacterial infection and had prescribed an antibiotic, Amoxicillan, to treat her.
Lee and her attorney—along with federal prosecutors—say Welden forged his father’s signature on a prescription for Cytotc and relabeled a pill bottle as “Amoxicillin.” Cytotec, known also as misoprostol, is a drug used to induce labor.
Lee was six weeks and five days pregnant at the time. She began to bleed while at work and went to the hospital, where she discovered she had been given the drug used in medically induced abortions.
Court documents says Welden admitted to Lee while she was in the hospital that he had given her Cytotec, not Amoxicillan. In addition to the criminal charges pending against him, Welden faces a civil suit. Lee has sued her ex-boyfriend for battery, intentional infliction of emotional harm, and punitive damages.
Welden’s father has not been accused of wrongdoing, nor charged with any crime.