A Florida man has been sentenced to nearly 14 years in jail for the heinous act of tricking his girlfriend into taking an abortion pill, causing her to miscarry their unborn child. John Andrew Welden, 29, could have potentially faced a life sentence for murder under the Federal Victims of Unborn Violence Act. However, he accepted a plea deal last year and pleaded guilty last September to tampering and mail fraud, avoiding the minimum life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Welden was upset that his girlfriend, Remee Jo Lee, had gotten pregnant by him and she refused to have an abortion. Seven weeks into her pregnancy, he tricked her into taking a Cytotec pill and caused her to miscarry. “He took away the most precious thing I ever had,” she said during the sentencing. “This isn’t just a case to me. This is the death of my child.”
U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara handed down the sentence last Monday and called his actions “evil.” Afterwards, Lee expressed satisfaction at the sentence and Welden’s defense attorney also said he thought the sentence was appropriate. “This is a very tragic case on all sides and tragedy often leads to very sad results,” he said outside the courthouse. “The good news is that Andrew will get the benefit of the recommendations made by the parties and the judge. It is what it is and he will be sentenced and turn him himself in. His family loves him and stands by him and supports him.”