Man Sentenced to 13 Years for Tricking Pregnant Ex into Taking Abortion Pill

January 29, 2014 - 4:59 PM

( – A Florida man received a 13-year eight-month sentence on Monday for tricking his pregnant ex-girlfriend into taking Cytotec, an abortion pill.

John Andrew Welden pleaded guilty in September to tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He was originally charged with killing an unborn child and faced life in prison, the Associated Press reported.

Welden turned himself in to federal authorities on Wednesday, Tampa Bay affiliate WTSP reported. “I’m sorry to my family … I’m just sorry to everyone,” he said.

In a plea agreement, Welden admitted to forging his obstetrician father’s signature on a prescription for Cytotec. According to prosecutors, he then relabeled the pill bottle as an antibiotic and told his ex-girlfriend, Remee Jo Lee, to take the pills.

Under the plea bargain, Welden received 10 years for consumer product tampering by disguising Cytotec to look like a bottle of Amoxycillin. He was also sentenced to 44 months for mail fraud, ordered to pay $28,541 in restitution, and three years of supervised release, CNN reported.

Dr. Daniel Buffington, a pharmacology expert, testified on behalf of the prosecution during the trial that Cytotec is mainly used to treat bleeding ulcers but comes with an FDA black box warning that the drug poses significant risk to pregnant women, a local ABC affiliatereported.

The drug is usually used to induce abortions, because it causes uterine contractions, Buffington said. It cuts off the baby’s blood supply, and if the pregnancy is not terminated, the baby will be born with birth defects.

Lee, who was six weeks pregnant at the time, took one pill and ended up in the hospital hours later, where doctors told her the baby had no heartbeat.