Florida Passes Bill To Make Killing Fetuses A Crime

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: April 23, 2014, 5:30pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Killing or injuring a fetus at any stage of development would be a crime under a bill passed by the Florida Legislature.

The Florida Senate voted 25-14 for the bill that expands a current law, which allows for murder or manslaughter charges if a fetus dies after it has developed to a point where it can survive outside the womb.

Sen. Kelli Stargel said the bill was needed because of what happened to Remee Jo Lee. The Tampa-area woman had a miscarriage after being tricked into taking abortion pills by her ex-boyfriend.

Lee was in the Senate chamber during the vote.

Federal authorities initially charged John Welden with killing Lee's unborn child. That charged was dropped when Welden agreed to plead guilty to product tampering.


Associated Press News Release

Updated: February 18, 2014, 5:45pm

By BRENDAN FARRINGTON

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A woman whose ex-boyfriend tricked her into taking pills that caused her miscarriage tearfully pleaded with lawmakers to approve a bill that would create new penalties for people who harm a fetus.

Remee Jo Lee showed members of the Senate Judiciary Committee ultrasound images of her fetus on Tuesday and talked about how much she wanted to be a mother. The committee voted 6-2 to approve the bill, which would make it a crime to harm or cause the death of a fetus while committing a crime against the mother.

The legislation includes intentionally trying to kill a fetus. An exception would be made for doctors performing abortions or treating a pregnant woman.

Lee's ex-boyfriend was sentenced last month to nearly 14 years in prison on drug tampering charges.


Associated Press News Release

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A 28-year-old Tampa man will be sentenced to prison for tricking his pregnant ex-girlfriend into taking a pill that caused her to have a miscarriage.

John Andrew Welden is scheduled for sentencing in federal court Tuesday.

Welden faces up to 15 years in prison and three years of supervised release when he is sentenced on charges of tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Welden is free on supervised release until the sentencing hearing.

In court documents, a psychiatrist suggested Welden has bipolar disorder and that clouded his judgment.

Federal prosecutors say Welden forged a signature in March of 2013 on a prescription for Cytotec and relabeled a pill bottle as "amoxicillin" and told his then-girlfriend to take the pills. Cytotec is used to induce labor.


Associated Press News Release

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The woman whose boyfriend tricked her into taking an abortion pill is suing the pharmacy involved.

Remee Jo Lee lost her baby about six or seven weeks into her pregnancy after she took the drug given to her by John Andrew Welden earlier this year. Welden pleaded guilty to a federal charge of product tampering on Sept. 9.

The Tampa Tribune (http://bit.ly/17kxmxO) reports that a Tampa-area pharmacy was implicated in the case in Welden's plea agreement, which describes Welden enlisting an employee to help in the medication ruse. Welden forged his physician father's name on a prescription for the drug Cytotec.

In her lawsuit against the pharmacy, Lee says the pharmacy failed to recognize that the Cytotec prescription had been forged.

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Information from: The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com


Associated Press Release

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A Tampa man is scheduled to plead guilty to tricking his pregnant ex-girlfriend into taking a pill he believed would cause her to have a miscarriage.

John Welden is scheduled to plead guilty Monday in federal court to tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He faced a possible life sentence if convicted of his original charge, killing an unborn child.

Remee Jo Lee and her attorney -- along with federal prosecutors -- say Welden forged a signature on a prescription for Cytotec and relabeled a pill bottle as "Amoxicillin." Cytotec is used to induce labor.

Welden allegedly forged the signature of his father, who is a doctor. Welden's father has not been accused of wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime.


Associated Press Release

By: KAREN McALLISTER

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The parents of a Tampa woman who says she was tricked by her boyfriend into taking a pill that led to a miscarriage are speaking out, saying no woman should ever have to endure such a "horrific act."

James and Rosa Lee told a news conference Monday that their 26-year-old daughter Remee is struggling after losing her 6-week-old embryo, but is holding up.

Her ex-boyfriend, John Andrew Welden, has been charged with first-degree murder under a rarely used federal statute known as the "Protection of Unborn Children Act." Welden hasn't entered a plea.

The 28-year-old man is the son of a fertility doctor. Prosecutors allege he forged his father's signature on a prescription for Cytotec, which is used to induce labor, and gave it to Lee, telling her it was an antibiotic.


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