NewsRegion South Hillsborough


Abortion pill switch: Victim's parents speak for the first time

Posted at 7:29 PM, May 20, 2013
and last updated 2014-06-30 17:43:11-04
On Monday, standing side-by-side,  Edward and Rosa Lee said they stand 100 percent behind their daughter, Remee Lee.
"I'm feeling very sad, devastated and concerned for my daughter," Rosa Lee said.
"No father should ever have to see his daughter go through something like this ," said Edward Lee. "I would never have expected anything like this."
Federal authorities say the Lees' 26-year-old daughter's boyfriend, John Andrew Welden, 28, tricked her, at six-weeks pregnant, into taking an abortion pill, called Cytotec. Prosecutors say Welden, the son of a local gynecologist, doctored the pill bottle's label to say the drugs were Amoxicillin.
Lee, who has only agreed to talk with ABC Action News, said Welden made her believe she had a bacterial infection and needed the pills to protect the baby.
"This was the person I loved more than anything and he used this baby as an Achilles heel," Lee said in an interview last week.
Welden is now facing charges of first-degree murder and product tampering. Last week, Lee also filed a civil action against Welden for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. However, in a news conference on Monday, her attorney announced that they've decided to postpone that case pending what happens in federal court.
"Remee, and not the FBI or federal prosecutors, made a voluntary decision to stay the civil action pending the outcome of the federal criminal prosecution," said Lee's attorney Gil Sanchez III. "Remee wants to see JAW convicted to the full extent of the law and she will cooperate in any way possible."
Sanchez and the Lee family also called on lawmakers to pass a "Remee Lee" law intended to strengthen the legal rights of a deceased fetus here in Florida.
"We hope and strongly encourage that members of the Florida House and Senate pass a Remee Lee law criminalizing the types of actions inflicted against Remee and her unborn baby," said Sanchez.
Sanchez also said he is actively investigating, researching, and prepared to file additional civil actions against "any and all individuals or companies that in some way contributed to Remee's loss." He said that potentially includes Welden's father and the pharmacy where Welden got the pills.