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Abortion pill suspect released on bond

John Andrew Welden, the former USF student accused of providing his former girlfriend with mislabeled medication with the intent of inducing an abortion, was released from jail before his trial with strict house arrest provisions and more than $350,000 provided in bonds.

Welden, whose family requested for the court to reconsider him for pretrial release after he was initially deemed a flight risk, was granted house arrest on the conditions that he would surrender his passport, consent to wearing a 24/7 GPS-monitoring anklet, pay for two full-time security guards at his own expense, change all the locks at his residence that only the guards would have keys to, wave his Fourth Amendment rights to protections from searches and seizures, avoid contact with his former girlfriend and have visitation rights limited to immediate family members and his legal counsel.

Welden admitted to police that he provided his former girlfriend, Remee Lee, with Cytotec pills, a stomach ulcer drug sometimes used to induce abortions, that were labeled as Amoxicillin with the intent of terminating the pregnancy.

Lee’s fetus lost its heartbeat shortly after she consumed 200 mg of the pill; however, last month an obstetrician and gynecologist who provided an affidavit for the defense stated that the drug was designed to expel fetuses, not end their heartbeats.

She also stated that 200 mg of the drug would likely be ineffective to do so, thus making it “impossible” for a medical professional to determine the cause of the death of the fetus, which under the Unborn Victims of Violence act would require Welden to be sentenced to life in prison if he is found guilty.

A “No Tresspassing” sign was seen outside Welden’s residence. A trial date has yet to be set.

— Staff report