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Sad Family Saga in Abortion-Pill Case

Will Vragovic
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

John Andrew Welden, the man accused of tricking his ex-girlfriend into taking a pill that terminated her pregnancy, told investigators he didn’t want to bring a child into a divided home -- the kind he grew up in. 

As the Tampa Bay Times reports, court records depict a rocky childhood for Welden, now 28. His father, gynecologist Stephen Welden, admitted to extramarital affairs with a medical resident and a former patient -- lapses that drew him a reprimand and two years’ probation from the Board of Medicine. Welden and his wife divorced, but custody battles raged for years.

Federal prosecutors say the younger Welden tricked the woman into taking Cytotec, after which she miscarried her 7-week-old embryo.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.