On Friday night, ABC dedicated a half-hour segment of the show 20/20 to the heartbreaking story of 27-year-old Floridian Remee Jo Lee’s unknowing abortion at the hands of her boyfriend, Andrew Welden. Welden’s father, a physician, performed Remee’s first prenatal exam when she was seven weeks pregnant.
The following day, Welden, who was a medical student at the University of South Florida, forged a prescription for Cytotec with his father’s credentials and changed the prescription label, telling the mother of his child that she needed to take “antibiotics” for a mild infection. Remee trusted that this information was coming through Welden’s father, and took the medication, believing that she was ingesting amoxicillin.
There’s nothing like seeing your own child growing inside of you,” Remee said of her first prenatal scan. Remee’s happiness quickly turned to tragedy, however. The new mother began to experience severe pain within hours of taking the medication. She had no inclination to believe that her stomach pain was caused by the pill, however. She thought she had simply eaten something bad.
The next day, heavy blood loss prompted Remee to believe that something was wrong with her pregnancy, and she went to the emergency room. There, she was informed that she had lost her child. Devastated, Remee called Welden, who admitted that he had given her Cytotec, not amoxicillin.
Welden was charged with murder following the death of his child, whom Remee named Memphis. He is awaiting sentencing under strict house arrest after his parents gave up their entire life savings of about half a million dollars to pay their son’s bond. Remee is working to promote legislation that would add Florida to the list of states that recognize children in utero as crime victims, as described in the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which would ensure much more stringent punishments for criminals like Weldon.