Woman Speaks Out After Lover Caused Miscarriage with Switched Pills

Remee Jo Lee miscarried after her lover switched her pill labels.

September 26, 2013, 1:05 PM

Sept. 27, 2013— -- A Florida woman, who miscarried after her lover deliberately gave her a mislabeled pill that terminated her pregnancy, told ABC News' "20/20" that her life life-long goal was to be a mom.

"I wanted this baby more than anything," Remee Jo Lee, 27, of Lutz, Fla., said. "Not because it was Andrew's, but it was my baby as well."

Lee's lover, John Andrew Welden, 28, is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty on Sept. 9 to federal charges of product tampering and mail fraud, which resulted in the loss of Lee's unborn child.

At seven weeks pregnant, Lee was a beaming mother-to-be, bearing the child of the man she hoped to marry someday. Lee, a former University of Southern Florida student, and Welden, a doctor's son working toward a degree in biomedical sciences and religion, met at The Class Act, a gentleman's club where Lee worked.

"We just hit it off," Lee said. "I was very impressed with, you know, his perseverance and his drive."

She was so impressed that she left her job at the club to work at Chipotle, "My job with pants," Lee said.

In the months that followed, Lee said the two spent more time together, though their relationship was not always exclusive.

"He went through a long-term relationship with a young woman named Tara," Lee said. "He said that that relationship had ended."

Lee and Welden even said "I love you" to each other, and had unprotected sex.

"He never even used condoms with me," Lee recalled. "I was well aware of what could happen."

Eventually Lee became pregnant with Welden's child, and Welden didn't take the news of her pregnancy well.

"Oh God, I want to die. Are you serious?" Lee said Welden texted her when she sent him a picture of the pregnancy test results. "Remee, please don't do this, I beg you. I am destroyed."

But Lee said she would never do anything to harm the baby. Soon, Welden took her to his father's office for a prenatal exam, and the next day, Welden, not his father, called to tell her that her results were in.

"He worked for his father, at his father's clinics. So it wouldn't be strange or uncustomary, you know, to call me personally," said Lee.

"He said I had a mild infection," Lee said. "I just needed to clear it up, that it would not hurt the baby." Welden then gave Lee what he told her were amoxicillin pills, as well as prenatal vitamins.

After taking one of the pills on her way to work, Lee said, "I went from being pregnant and sick with ... morning sickness, to a horrible pain ... like someone had shoved a bayonet into my stomach."

After seeking medical help, a doctor told Lee that her pregnancy was over. Lee said she knew it was the pill she took given to her by Welden.

From her hospital bed, Lee asked the Hillsborough County police to listen in on a call she made to Welden asking him what he'd given her.

"I was hoping that this was some sort of horrible mistake," Lee said. "He told me what the medication was, and it was Cytotec."

Cytotec is ordinarily prescribed to treat stomach ulcers, but it is also known to cause miscarriages, which it warns against on its packaging. Welden hid that packaging from Lee.

Welden's plea agreement states that on March 29, 2013, he tampered with the drug misoprostol (brand name Cytotec) by scratching off the pills' original identifying marks. Additionally, Welden also placed labels with the name of his girlfriend and the name of a different medicine on the container of the product. The drug's original instructions remained: Take 3 tablets sublingually three times daily for three days.

"Throughout his life, he has been singularly the most kind, thoughtful, compassionate of all my children," Dr. Stephen Welden, Welden's father, told "20/20," of his son.

"I think that's why he wanted to go into medicine. It's just ... devastating now," Lenora Welden, Welden's stepmother, said.

Welden was charged with murder, but under a deal, he pleaded guilty to charges that could land him in prison for nearly 15 years. Awaiting sentencing, he is currently under very strict house arrest.

For now, Welden is the only one paying the price, but according to his plea agreement, there may have been an "unidentified co-conspirator" at the pharmacy Welden obtained the pills from. Charges have not been filed against the pharmacy or its employees.

The pharmacy did not respond to a request for comment from "20/20."

Lee's lawyer, Gil Sanchez, said Welden could have faced a life sentence under the Unborn Victims of Life Act, if it had been in place in Florida.

"Remee, along with her supporters, is going to assist and try to develop grassroots political support to pass that law in Florida," Sanchez said.

Lee said she has reached a place of peace for Welden.

"I am just a girl from Lutz that fell in love with the wrong man."

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