A 28-year-old Florida man faces federal charges after he allegedly tricked his girlfriend into aborting a fetus she was carrying.
According to court documents, John Andrew Welden forged his father’s signature to get a prescription for Cyotec, a drug used to induce labor. Welden told his pregnant girlfriend Remy Lee that his father, who is a fertility doctor, prescribed Amoxicillan to treat her for a bacterial infection. He swapped the bottles’ labeling to trick her into taking the drug, AP reports.
Lee, 26, who is now Welden’s ex, is shocked.
"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," Lee's attorney, Gil Sanchez, said. "She's devastated. She still can't believe this happened to her."
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Cyotec, also known as misoprostol, is typically used with another drug, mifepristone, to cause an abortion during the first nine weeks of pregnancy. Lee was six weeks and five days into her pregnancy when she took the pill on her way to work. She began to bleed and was taken to the hospital, where she was told that she had taken a drug that causes an abortion.
"What did you give me, Andrew?" she asked Welden, according to the prosecutor.
Sanchez says the couple broke up a few months ago, but got back together long enough for Lee to become pregnant, the Tampa Bay Times reports. She planned on keeping the baby and showed her fellow Chipotle workers her sonogram images.
"I was never going to do anything but go full term with it, and he didn't want me to,” Lee told WPTV.
Welden has been charged with product tampering and first-degree murder, with a possible life sentence. His crime falls under the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 which defines "unborn child" as "a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb." The law excludes abortions with the consent of the mother.
According to his Facebook page, Welden was a pre-med student at the University of South Florida.