Man pleads guilty to tricking pregnant girlfriend into taking abortion pill

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(CNN) — Remee Lee was elated when she became pregnant, but those feelings quickly turned into a nightmare that won’t let go of her.

Her boyfriend wasn’t happy about the pregnancy, but it was Lee’s dream to have a child. Until her boyfriend, John Andrew Welden, took that dream away.

This week, Welden, 28, pleaded guilty to killing their unborn baby. How? He tricked Lee into taking an abortion pill, causing her to miscarry.

“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.

Follow the conversation with Chris Cuomo

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.”

Those who know Lee say she’s still burdened by sadness.

“Nothing is going to bring back what was taken from her,” Lee’s attorney Gil Sanchez said.

She trusted him

Lee has said she was madly in love with Welden when she suspected she was pregnant.

They went together for a sonogram at Welden’s father’s Tampa-area clinic. The test showed she was six weeks pregnant. Despite her boyfriend’s reluctance, Lee planned to have the baby.

Days later, Welden told Lee that her blood tests had shown that she had an infection and needed to take amoxicillin.

But instead of the antibiotic, Welden brought her Cytotec, a drug that causes contractions.

Welden told her to take three pills a day. She trusted him.

After she took only one pill, Lee was rushed to the hospital with abdominal pain and bleeding.

She lost the baby.

When doctors inspected the pills, it was discovered that they were not antibiotics, but abortion pills.

“There’s just no words for the horror I wake up with every day that this is my reality. There’s no escaping it, there’s no turning it off,” Lee said.

Welden said nothing as he left the courtroom Monday. Surrounded by security, he silently walked by a group of reporters, got into a black Hummer and was driven away.

Welden is scheduled to be sentenced December 5.

What is Cytotec?

Misoprostol (brand name Cytotec) is used to prevent stomach ulcers in people who take certain arthritis and pain medicines, according to theNIH. It is only available by prescription.

Misoprostol is used in combination with mifepristone (the ‘abortion pill’) to end an early pregnancy. Mifepristone is taken first, followed by misoprostol. Misoprostol causes cramps and heavy bleeding. Most women abort within a few days, some within four or five hours, according toPlanned Parenthood.

Misoprostol is sometimes used to induce contractions to begin labor; it is also sometimes used to decrease blood loss after delivery of a baby. Neither of these uses is approved by the FDA.


  • MyTakeOnIt

    So, here is a question that deserves a thought. It does not have to do with this couple but relates to the opposite.

    Suppose a couple is having regular sex with the expectation that the woman is on and remains on the birth control pill. She decides to go off the pill and get pregnant without notification to the man. Is she liable for sole responsibility since she deceptively stopped contraception? Is there such a thing as a preconceptional agreement (like a prenuptial agreement)? Wouldn't such a deception be a breach of a contract (verbal or otherwise)?

    • asdas

      Yes, but she is a woman so automatically she can do no wrong and deserves whattever she wants according to this society.

    • Dave

      Morally and ethically she should be solely responsible for the child but legally the father is the one who has to shoulder the responsibility.

  • Eliza

    Yes, he went about this in such an ethical way. clearly. If he truly didn't want the baby, he should have said so and made it clear that if she wanted to have and keep the baby she would be making the decision to do so alone, instead of deceptively poisoning and forcing her to abort.

    • Dave

      You are naive. If he had let that baby live he would have been saddled with fatherhood for a lot more than 10 years. Men do not have the right under the law to opt out in the way you are describing, and that hoe of a girlfriend of his would have been collecting from him for 18 years.

  • morabitoa

    For all these men crying about being stuck with child support and being tricked by women, seriously. You are an adult and know the consequences of unprotected sex. Don’t trust a women to take birth control. If I was a man, I wouldn’t leave something like that in someone else’s hands. Use a condom, not only for unwanted pregnancy but for diseases. Grow up people.

      • Kerri

        That's reaching! There are people who do that but what he did here excuses none of his behavior – regardless of what he did. I totally agree with some of the comments, there are punishments for this but have you ever heard of a guy suing a girl for choosing not to keep a baby? Probably because the guy is happy that she didn't have it – most men don't want the responsibility or are not ready but some desperately want to be fathers and the people above are right, men really have no say either way. In my opinion, abortion is murder – especially if there is a heart beat but the law seems to be flexible with the situation(s) so why even bother with making a law? What this guy was did was deceptive to say the least – I do not know the girl but this might be something she will never get over – what if this causes her to not be able to have any more children? They say it's more difficult after an abortion to have children and I don't know if that's with the surgery or if it's with any type of abortion.
        I'm sure if people put there heads together there could be a happy medium here because what stops men the most is support – if they don't want to be around the child or raise the child they leave and there's nothing the law, the mother, or the family can do about that but support is another story. Maybe a "meet-in-the-middle" and there would be less stories like this or like the Peterson murder. These laws are killing children, maybe it's not the laws that are inflicting the crime but it's the laws that are turning out these losers who kill because their girlfriends or wives are pregnant.
        This sounds like it wasn't planned at all so this guy should have known to take precaution but I also agree men are more sexual than woman so at the same time he made a choice when it happened to not protect himself. The pill is never 100% and teenagers learn this while they are in school and hopefully at home.
        As you can see I am torn between the idea but not this man…there was nothing to help him out of it – aside from discussing it with her so there's no sympathy for him but there is sympathy for the parent (mother or father) who does/doesnt what a child and doesn't really have a say. Never really thought about this until a few people brought it up on here.
        I'm a female and I have two sons with a BOY who never really bothered with them, it hurt my kids so maybe I should have found out a little more about the type of parent he might have been or maybe I should have done this or that, maybe I should have waited…I honestly don't know but it's so messy – I started this post with both sides on my mind and the more I say – the more I want to say but I'm sure you get my point, right?
        Now I have a wonderful man who is stable with my boys and loves me – he's also a man who paid child support and is way behind but if you heard the whole story, the tables should have been turned, he should have been raising them and she should have been paying the support. There's also situations like this where the mother does have children but she has no business being a mom or women who use children as a source of income – and nothing more. I think the laws are generated toward money and not so much as the child – in the way they CLAIM to be!
        Each situation is individual and each outcome cannot really be predicted but a child is between two people and people need to learn to agree, compromise, or prevent it from happening until it's a mutual decision but the laws need to be more "universal" between men and women – especially with something as delicate as an unborn child.
        You all can criticize this but I really do think there are way too many issues either way!
        But again, this guy is sick, I don't stand for what he did even in my little bit of doubt for men!!

    • Dave

      That is an awfully hypocritical statement considering that women also know the dangers of unprotected sex yet are still able to get an abortion. Me thinks thou art an idiot!

  • kyala

    WOW. She lost A BABY, He took the life of a baby. He knew everytime he had sex she could get pregnant. No birth control or condum is 100 %. You are foolish and disgusting.

    • Fred

      It’s funny how abortion is legal but this is murder… So it’s okay for one of the 2 people involved in creating a life to end a baby’s life but it’s not okay for the other? Yeah. That’s a fair system.

      • Dave

        You're right. It's horribly unjust to punish this man for ending an unwanted pregnancy. In a just society, man would have the option to "opt out" of being responsible for the child, leaving the mother to abort or keep the child as her sole responsibility.

        • Lesley Love

          It took two to make that baby. The child is BOTH their responsibilities. A man cannot simply "opt out" of his role as father!

  • Guest

    Well make up my mind, is it a fetus or a baby?
    If it's a baby then it's nothing more than an "injury".
    If it's a baby, well then how is it only LIFE when the mother chooses she wants it?
    life is life rather you want it or not.


  • inalienablewrights

    13 years in jail for killing a fetus. Why don't men have the same right to opt out of parenthood that women do? What happens when the father wants to keep the baby but the mother doesn't?

  • libragirl4ever

    I agree with a couple of people on here. It is legal for a woman to get an abortion if SHE doesn't want the baby, but what legal standing does the man have? None. You have the legal right to pay child support. I have a friend who got pregnant, and she did not want the baby, the father did. She got that abortion, regardless of his feelings toward HIS unborn child. So we as a nation, need to protect the men as well. Either make abortion a legal act only if both parents sign off on it or dont make it a legal act . If one parent wants the baby and the other doesn't then free the parent that doesnt want the baby from ALL legal responsibility, whether male or female.

    • Dave

      I agree with you, that is the least coercive policy and therefore in my view the best. You have a good head on your shoulders @libragirl4ever.

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