A man who tricked his girlfriend into aborting their fetus has been sentenced to 14 years in prison. The man, John Andrew Welden, stole the abortion pill from his father, who was an obstetrician, and gave it to his girlfriend, telling her that tests his father had taken had shown an infection and she needed antibiotics. The "antibiotics" were really Cytotec pills, which induces miscarriage. Remee Jo Lee took one pill, became ill, and miscarried.
It was only while she was in the hospital that her boyfriend, Welden, showed up and admitted he had given her the drug. She was devastated. Welden has expressed remorse saying:
I’ve caused everyone a huge amount of emotional pain. What I’ve done will stay with me every day for the rest of my life.
But I'm seeing many commenters saying that a 14-year sentence is excessive for a 6-week-old fetus -- especially when you consider many people get much lighter sentences (if any at all) for manslaughter cases where already-born adults and children are killed. Take the teen who got off scot-free after killing four people while drunk driving because he had "affluenza" (cough!).
But this was clearly premeditated. Welden felt a baby would inconvenience him. He was also worried his other girlfriend would find out about it -- and simply snuffed out a potentially viable life for his own whim.
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This isn't someone who was recklessly negligent -- he went to the trouble of taking the pills, scratching off the label, and handing them to his girlfriend.
I sympathize with anyone who is suddenly faced with the reality of a child before he/she is ready. And yes, a mother does have the choice as to whether or not to abort the fetus. She is the one carrying it after all, and who will give birth to it. She takes 100 percent of the physical risk and has absolutely no guarantee that a man will even stick around to help raise a child.
But a man does not get to trick a woman into an abortion when she wanted to keep that child. The sentence might be a harsh one, but it's fair. And doubtful he will serve it all anyway.
Do you think the sentence was fair?
Image via Pinellas County Sheriff's Office