Man's trick allegedly caused ex's abortion
TAMPA — The 28-year-old son of a Florida fertility doctor has been charged by federal authorities with tricking his girlfriend into taking a pill used to induce labor and cause an abortion, killing the embryo she was carrying.
John Andrew Welden was indicted on Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of product tampering and first-degree murder and faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murder charge. He's also the defendant in a lawsuit filed in state court by his ex-girlfriend, 26-year-old Remee Lee.
“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 Lee's attorney, Gil Sanchez. “She's devastated. She still can't believe this happened to her.”
According to court documents, the couple met in mid-2012 and became romantically involved. Lee became pregnant in February 2013 and was elated about her pregnancy when she told Welden the news. Welden, however, urged Lee not to have the baby.
In late March, the records say, Lee went to the office of Dr. Stephen Welden, her boyfriend's father, for an exam.
Court records say Welden told Lee that 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 Cytotec and relabeled a pill bottle as “Amoxicillin.” Cytotec, known also as misoprostol, is a drug used to induce labor.
It is typically taken in conjunction with another drug, mifepristone, to cause an abortion during the first nine weeks of pregnancy.