What happened to Remee Lee might just be every pregnant woman’s nightmare. After telling her boyfriend, John Welden, that she was pregnant, he was less than thrilled. He begged her to get an abortion, but she was adamant about keeping the baby. Reluctantly Weldon went along with it, until a few weeks into her pregnancy when he allegedly tricked her into taking Cytotec, causing her to miscarry. Most people who hear about this case are horrified, but some men’s rights activists, see a deeper issue at hand, and for once I am inclined to agree.
This week 28-year-old Weldon (from Pinellas County, Florida, where else?) pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend’s unborn child under the rarely used and highly controversial federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act. A murder charge under this act carried a maximum life sentence, but since Weldon pleaded guilty under a plea deal, he faces only 13.
When they suspected she was pregnant, Lee and Weldon reportedly went to have a sonogram and pregnancy test done at Weldon’s father’s clinic, located in Tampa, Florida, where they were told she was about six weeks along. A few days later Weldon told Lee that his father’s office had called and told him Lee has a minor infection and needed to take amoxicillin, an antibiotic. But instead of bringing her antibiotics, he brought her Cytotec, a drug that causes contractions. He instructed Lee to take three pills a day, but after just one pill she was rushed to the ER with abdominal pain and bleeding. She quickly lost the baby. When Lee showed the doctors at the hospital the bottle of “antibiotics” she was on they were shocked to discover abortion pills instead.
Remee Lee was betrayed in one of the most horrible ways ever. As you can imagine, these events have caused an outcry on the internet. Most of the comments have been supportive, and of course a few crass and awful (this IS the internet of course) but one caught my eye because I believe it brings up a good point:
This might not be a popular opinion, but I get John’s argument. Should there be a window of time where a man can give up his rights and responsibilities too? Where he can agree never to see the child in exchange for not being liable for support? These are questions that have been brought up numerous times by MRAs (which John does NOT claim to be), and as trollish as they often are, I see this particular point.
I am NOT taking sides with the MRA trolls who bitch about how terrible child support is and believe no man should have to pay. I want to make that clear. I simply think the issue isn’t as black and white as culturally we would like to believe. Obviously pregnancy is a woman’s choice, whether she wants to continue or abort, and no one should be able to tell her what to do. I believe this wholeheartedly.
Some commenters argue that a man’s time for choice was BEFORE having sex, but isn’t that the same argument anti-abortion proponents use against women? Is it fair for us to use that same argument against a man, especially since we don’t always know all of the circumstances? If a condom breaks, or a woman doesn’t use birth control correctly (or lies about using it completely), is it fair that the man is on the hook for 18 years when the woman has the right to choose to abort?
Would more choices in the matter have caused Weldon to make a different decision? Probably not because he sounds like a stone cold sociopath. But this situation certainly brings up some compelling issues.