A Florida man charged with first-degree murder for tricking his pregnant girlfriend into taking abortion pills, leading to the death of their unborn child, had pleaded guilty.
Remee Lee, 26, was happy to be pregnant and planned on having the baby, despite the fact that her boyfriend, John Andrew Weldon, didn’t want the child.
According to Lee: “Everyone dreams of becoming a mom. This was my chance.”
John Weldon was the son of the obstetrician/gynecologist who was treating his Lee. Weldon’s father, the OB/GYN, was the one who diagnosed her pregnancy. A sonogram showed that she was six weeks along. By six weeks, the unborn baby’s heart is beating, but the baby is not fully developed. Lee left the appointment happy, but Weldon did not share her happiness and wanted her to abort.
Weldon later told Lee that his father, the doctor, had diagnosed her with an infection and that she needed to take antibiotics. Wilson then presented her with a bottle full of what he claimed were amoxicillin tablets. He instructed her to take three a day for the next several days. Lee did not suspect that the pills were really Cytotec, a drug used to induce contractions and cause abortions.
It is not known where Weldon obtained the drugs, but police say he carefully substituted them for the amoxicillin, leaving them labeled as the harmless antibiotic. Allegedly, he filed identifying markings off the pills to further compound the deception.
Lee took the drugs for several days. She began bleeding heavily and cramping, and went to the hospital. Doctors examined her and told her that her unborn child no longer had a heartbeat. She learned of her baby’s death on Easter Sunday.
Lee said that Weldon had been pressuring her to have an abortion since he found out that she was pregnant. She lamented that Weldon “used this pregnancy as my Achilles heel. He knew I wanted to do what is best, so that is why I took [the pills]”.
“Every day is a nightmare for me ever since this began,” Lee told Chris Cuomo on CNN’s ‘New Day’ Tuesday. “Even hearing the guilty (plea) yesterday, it’s hard to believe it, it’s hard to read it and know that this actually happened to me.”
Lee, 26, was in the Florida courtroom Monday, dabbing away tears as her former boyfriend accepted a plea deal that could send him to prison for at least 13 years.
Welden was indicted under the rarely used federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a murder charge that carries a life sentence.
Todd Foster, Welden’s defense attorney, told reporters that the stakes of going to trial were too high.
“The possibility of a mandatory life sentence, no discretion to the judge, obviously is a big factor,” Foster said. “Obviously it’s tragic all around from every angle, and I think that’s recognized.”
“Nothing is going to bring back what was taken from her,” Lee’s attorney Gil Sanchez said.
Welden is scheduled to be sentenced December 5.
Mark Crutcher, President of Life Dynamics, a pro-life group, commented on the case warning women: “If he’s going to be pro-choice about your baby, he might be pro-choice about you.”
Crutcher asks, “What happens when men use abortion as a sort of safety net? What do they do when the woman they’ve impregnated won’t jump into the net?”