The Common Good

Fla. Man Gets Prison for Abortion-pill Miscarriage

The son of a Florida fertility doctor was sentenced Monday to nearly 14 years in federal prison for duping his pregnant girlfriend into taking medication that caused her to abort her 6-week-old fetus.

Judge's gavel on a brown table. Via: Shutterstock / sergign

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

John Andrew Welden, 29, had pleaded guilty in September to forging a prescription for Cytotec, the brand name for misoprostol, in March 2013, which he relabeled as the common antibiotic amoxicillin. He convinced his former lover, Remee Jo Lee, that she had an infection and needed to take the antibiotic he claimed his father had prescribed. She miscarried within hours.

Welden, of Lutz, near Tampa, was sentenced to 13 years, eight months in a minimum-security facility, four months less than what prosecutors had sought in exchange for dropping a murder charge.

“I don’t believe Mr. Welden’s an evil person, but he committed an evil act and he’s going to pay the consequences,” U.S. District Judge Richard Al Lazzara said, The Tampa Tribune reported.

Welden apologized, quoted from the Bible and asked Lazzara for mercy, saying he has “the most humble and remorseful heart.”

“I’ve caused everyone a huge amount of emotional pain,” he said. “What I’ve done will stay with me every day for the rest of my life.”

Earlier, clutching framed sonogram images of her fetus and sobbing, she asked the judge to show “the same amount of mercy that he showed me during my pregnancy.”

She said the “fairy tale” Welden’s family and friends present of a caring man “morphed into my own personal inferno when he decided to murder our child.”

While acknowledging that what he did was “inexcusable, and I deserve punishment,” Welden said he was “overwhelmed with the crushing fear today … that the person I am and hope to be will vanish forever” as the result of spending a long time behind bars. “I’m scared of what awaits me in prison, honestly.”

Michael Winter writes for USA Today. Via RNS.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)