Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Victim pleads for new fetus law

TALLAHASSEE — Remee Jo Lee cries every day when she thinks about the baby she lost after her ex-boyfriend tricked her into taking abortion drugs.

It hits her when she sees pregnant women, or a diaper changing station in a women's bathroom. She feels the pain when she walks through the children's section of a department store.

And now she's pleading with lawmakers to pass a bill that would have allowed the state to prosecute John Andrew Welden for the death of her unborn child.

"This has just been the most devastating experience for me. This never goes away. I deal with this every day," Lee told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, rapidly twisting a facial tissue in her hands as she spoke through tears. The framed sonogram images of her unborn child sat on the lectern in front of her. "This has just been very, very hard and I never want anyone else to go through this ever again and I want the state of Florida to show that this is not acceptable. That you can't get away with this."

The committee voted 6-2 to pass the bill (SB 162) with no debate. Last year the same bill died because the committee refused to take it up for consideration. Lee hopes that her story will be the difference this year.

"We've inspired some change in the hearts and minds of others, which is an uplifting experience. I'm glad that they're able to see that this is a reality that can happen," she said after the meeting.

Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, is sponsoring the House version of the bill (HB 59). Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, is sponsoring the Senate measure. Both bills have one more committee stop before being considered by the full chambers.

Lee found out she was pregnant last year and said Welden told her immediately he didn't want her to have the baby.

The son of a doctor, Welden forged his father's signature in March of 2013 on a prescription for Cytotec and relabeled a pill bottle as the antibiotic "amoxicillin." Cytotec is used to induce labor. Welden told Lee that his father said she had an infection and told her to take the mislabeled medication.

She experienced severe cramping and went to the hospital, where on Easter she was told that she lost the baby six weeks and five days into her pregnancy.

While Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies investigated the case, no state charges were filed. Instead, federal prosecutors initially charged Welden under the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act." That charge was dropped as part of a deal in which Welden pleaded guilty to drug-tampering charges. He was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison.

Comments

Test & Head& &&&& &

gnsnhstrgfnsfhnmd
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Rick Scott overrules elections chief, directs Florida to seek cyber-security money

Rick Scott overrules elections chief, directs Florida to seek cyber-security money

FORT LAUDERDALE — Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday directed the state's chief elections official to seek $19.2 million in federal money to help counties protect against possible cyber-security attacks in the 2018 election.Scott's action came hours ...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

VERO BEACH — Land O'Lakes had just finished a hard-fought 5-0 victory over Clay in the Class 6A state semifinal. Callie Turner threw a no-hitter. Jolene Bodner had a two-run single.The win was big, clinching the Gators' second straight champion...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
USF Sun Dome to increase security for Pasco County high school graduations

USF Sun Dome to increase security for Pasco County high school graduations

Concerns still high over security at high profile school events, the USF Sun Dome plans to increase safety measures for this week's Pasco County high school graduation ceremonies.Family and friends might want to arrive a bit early to be sure to ...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Mother fatally struck while pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa

Mother fatally struck while pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa

TAMPA— A mother was killed Wednesday when she was struck by a vehicle while pushing a stroller on Bayshore Boulevard, according to the Tampa Police Department.The crash occurred around 11:43 near W Knights Avenue, police said.The woman and child were...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

Waiting for ‘Godot’ to end: Half-okay performances mar an already irritating classic at Hat Trick

CLEARWATER — Hat Trick Theatre, the resident company of Ruth Eckerd Hall, closes out its season with Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. I must say it’s a stark choice, mainly because I can’t get two sentences into this without using the word "stark....
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Oil drilling ban in eastern gulf is shot down

Oil drilling ban in eastern gulf is shot down

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan Florida effort to permanently ban oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico has been blocked from consideration."House Republicans blocked my bipartisan amendment to ban oil drilling off the coast of Florida late...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

FORT MYERS — One swing.That's all it took for Carrollwood Day's historic season to come to an end.With two outs and two runners on in the third inning of the Class 3A state semifinal against Tallahassee North Florida Christian, Patriots starter...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
No. 2-seeded USF falls to Wichita State in AAC tourney opener

No. 2-seeded USF falls to Wichita State in AAC tourney opener

Second-seeded USF was greeted Wednesday morning at the American Athletic Conference tournament by a bright sky and bracket poised to burst.Yet on a day the Bulls (32-19-1) could've made real noise in this eight-team event, their bats elicited nary a ...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
NFL owners approve team-by-team anthem policy, will allow players to remain in locker room

NFL owners approve team-by-team anthem policy, will allow players to remain in locker room

ATLANTA — NFL owners approved a new national anthem policy Wednesday that gives individual teams the authority to set their own anthem-related rules and permits players to remain in the locker room during the playing of the anthem, the Washington Pos...
Updated: 1 hour ago