Man who slipped girlfriend abortion-inducing drug signs plea bargain: avoids life in prison
TAMPA, FL, September 9, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The man who tricked his ex-girlfriend into taking an abortion-inducing drug that aborted their baby will not spend the rest of his life in prison, thanks to a plea bargain he entered this morning.
John Andrew Welden, 28, entered a guilty plea to product tampering and mail fraud on Monday. Welden had faced life without parole for violating the 2004 Unborn Victims of Violence Act, signed by President George W. Bush.
Court documents describe Welden's actions as "tantamount to attempted murder."
In the plea bargain, Welden admits "he intentionally intended to kill and intentionally attempted to kill the unborn child in utero."
The agreement, signed on Friday, recommends Welden serve 13 years and eight months in prison.
The victim, 26-year-old Remee Jo Lee, had been an exotic dancer at a bar when she met Welden, but said she changed her life to hold on to the man she loved. After she became pregnant in February, their rocky relationship took a precarious turn.
“I was never going to do anything but go full-term with it, and he did not want me to,” Lee said. She had even picked out a name, Memphis Remington.
Welden had other ideas.
He took Lee for a doctor's appointment on March 27. A few days later, he lied, telling Lee that she had an infection.
He has admitted to forging the name of his father, Dr. Stephen Welden, on a prescription, and giving Lee a bottle of Cytotec (misoprostol) that had been falsely labeled as “Amoxicillin.” Pro-abortion doctors often use Cytotec off-label to induce a chemical abortion.
After Lee took one pill, which she referred to as Welden's “weapon of choice,” she miscarried at a local hospital, on March 31 – Easter Sunday, as it happened.
The baby, at about seven weeks' gestation, was about one-third of an inch long, according to court documents.
Devastated, Lee arranged a sting phone call between herself and Welden, recorded by police. A total of 14 times, she asked, "What did you give me, Andrew?"
Welden reportedly berated himself and said he was going to Hell.
He eventually admitted his guilt, police say. Nonetheless, he initially contested the charges in court.
During his trial, Welden blamed much of the problem on his parents' painful divorce, which began when he was five years-old. "I told her [Remee Jo Lee] I didn't want to bring up a kid into a separated home, 'cause I grew up in a separated home," Welden said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
His lawyer advanced a number of arguments – including invoking Roe v. Wade to defend Welden's actions. During a hearing in June, defense layer Todd Foster said there are “some tensions” between the Unborn Victims of Violence Act and the 1973 Supreme Court ruling.
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Foster also cited the lack of enforcement of the 2004 Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which has been applied in only a handful of cases after nearly a decade on the books.
That has spurred Remee and her parents, Edward and Rosa Lee, to support the Offenses Against Unborn Children bill, a state measure allowing Florida law enforcement to prosecute anyone who kills an unborn child before the point of viability. Her father, Edward Lee, said, "We do not want this to happen to any other daughter."
The plea agreement names an employee at Sunlake Pharmacy in Lutz, Florda, as an unindicted co-conspirator for “preparing the false and fraudulent prescription label.” Prosecutors have not said whether the individual will be charged.
Welden will be free under supervised release until his sentencing hearing on December 5. U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara, a 1997 Clinton appointee, told him, “Whatever sentence I impose on you, you have to live with.”
Pro-life advocates warn the Obama administration's decision to sell Plan B over the counter to girls of all ages could result in many more cases like Lee's.