(RNS) The son of a Florida fertility doctor was sentenced Monday (Jan. 27) 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.

John Andrew Welden, 29, the son of a Florida fertility doctor was sentenced Monday (Jan. 27) 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. Photo courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

John Andrew Welden, 29, the son of a Florida fertility doctor was sentenced Monday (Jan. 27) 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. Photo courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office


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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.”

 

YS END WINTER

7 Comments

  1. The question remains, why, if she was really duped, would she have to be duped? That in no way lessens his evil deception if it took place, but wouldn’t such a person as this fellow display other characteristics that would make a girlfriend not want to have their baby? Could she count on him for healthy parenting or any other kind of support? And come to think of it, since pregnancy is the result of the behavior of two people, shouldn’t results, except in cases of rape, be related to the desires and choices of both parties? The complex problem remains unresolved in our culture, doesn’t it?

  2. How does Judge Lazzara separate an “evil act” from the doer of that act to the point of determining that the act is evil but the doer is not evil? As for Welden finding biblical religion in time to try to save his carcass from prison, that story is as old as the scriptures from which he carefully selected it. It did gain him four months.

    I’m sure his lawyer obtained a bible thumper to find it for them. But then, this was in Florida. As we sadly know, lawyering is not the honest profession we would like it to be. Look at Washington, DC. How did Welden learn so much about pharmacology? The medical profession is fast catching up with the legal profession, and little attention was given to the problem with the Affordable Care Act.

    • Essentially something to the effect of “he’s really a nice person once you get past the act which landed him in prison”

      Its not the judge’s job to determine if a person is evil. Only if an act is. The whole “the act is evil but the doer is not evil” is nothing but a judge spouting off to sound important. Pointless dicta.

  3. Earold Gunter

    It would have been an interesting legal case to see this go to trial, in federal court, as a murder charge, but not so much in Fla. though as they trend to lean right down there. However, this man should also be federally prosecuted for violating the civil rights of this woman. Taking away her choice, her right as an American citizen, to carry this fetus until it became a fully developed human is deplorable. Then for him to quote the bible, in what can be understood as an attempt to use religion as a means of eliciting leniency from the judge is indicative of a continuation of manipulative behavior, and should have carried only negative weight in his sentencing.

    Religion is poison!!

    • I don’t know the details of this case, so do not know whether Welden actually wanted to be a father.

      Everyone bangs on about the woman’s rights and wishes. Nobody ever asks about the man’s.

      Did the woman tell him she was using birth control?
      Did he consent to parenthood?

      Too many men I know have been duped into providing a long term income for women who effectively stole their sperm after declaring that they had no interest in children.
      The whole legal apparatus is skewed against men, who are left with no choice, no rights but only responsibility.
      A man cannot prevent an abortion of his child, nor can he insist upon an abortion. He will, however, always be made to pay. Not at all equitable.

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