John Andrew Welden, 28, pictured with Remee Jo Lee, 26. Welden was convicted of secretly giving Lee, who was pregnant, a pill that caused her to miscarry. (Courtesy Gil Sanchez Valencia)
Tampa, FL -- We're now hearing from the parents of the Bay area woman who says her boyfriend switched her prescription and secretly gave her an abortion pill to end their pregnancy.
Edward and Rosa Lee met with reporters outside the family's attorney's office in Tampa to speak about this sad, shocking story.
They say their 26-year-old daughter Remee is struggling after losing her 6-week-old embryo, but is holding up.
Their attorney, Gil Sanchez, added they are suspending their civil suit to allow the criminal aspect of the investigation to move forward. Eventually though, he says the Lees will seek compensation for their emotional distress.
They also want to see a change in state law.
"I would never have expected anything like this," said Edward Lee, who had met John Andrew Welden several times before.
Lee and his wife Rosa say they were looking forward to becoming grandparents, but were deprived of that joy when Welden, 28, allegedly switched Remee's antibiotics with an abortion pill.
The unborn child Welden had conceived with Remee was lost three days later on Easter Sunday.
"Nobody could ever think of anything like this," said Rosa.
The family's lawyer says they are suspending their civil suit for now, so prosecutors can push forward with federal murder charges against Welden.
It's a charge that would not have been applicable under state law, because under Florida statutes the viability of the pregnancy - which in this case had entered its 7th week - is taken into consideration.
Not so under the federal statute.
"We want the full weight of the law administered against the individual that caused this tragedy," said Edward Lee. "We do not want this to happen to any other daughter."
"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," added Sanchez.
Remee Jo, says her attorney, has decided not speak further while the investigation unfolds.
Her parents say the 26-year-old is heartbroken, tearful, but coping.
"I'm feeling very sad... devastated and concerned for my daughter," said Rosa.
Welden is accused of obtaining a prescription for the abortion pill Cytotec, by forging the signature of his father, who operates an OB/GYN office and diet clinic in Lutz.
The Lees' attorney says when they eventually do move forward with civil litigation for the emotional distress the Lees have endured, the lawsuit may include that aspect as well.
"We are investigating any and all parties which can include Dr. Welden, the pharmacy, and any individuals who may have played a part in being negligent," said Sanchez.
The Lees describe themselves as humble, hard-working, private people and have asked for privacy in all of this.
But they may very well be thrust into the legal spotlight, as they ask state legislators to pass a law -- bearing their daughter's name -- that would make similar murder charges an option at the state level as well.