TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Reme Jo Lee was given what she thought was an antibiotic, but was given an abortion pill instead. A year after she lost her baby, state lawmakers are now on the verge of making the crime a felony.
On Good Friday last year Reme Lee's fiance gave her an abortion pill disguised as an antibiotic. By Easter Sunday she had lost her baby.
Police found they could only charge the boyfriend with product tampering.
"Their only reason for this is to kill that child," said Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Pinellas.
Reme Lee sat in the front row of the House gallery with her father. She cried as lawmakers described her ordeal while debating a bill to kill an unknown child.
"So the child gets a death sentence, and Reme Lee and her family get a life sentence. They suffer everyday," said Ahern.
Opponents who sympathize with the woman said the legislation is much too broad.
"It's unenforceable and it is part of a war on women," said Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Broward County.
As the House prepared to vote, Reme Lee's tears turned to a smile. The final outcome was 74 yeas, 42 nays.
Afterward Reme Lee clutched the ultrasound of Memphis, the child who'll never be born. She said justice is being done.
"I hope this serves as a deterrent so other people don't have to suffer like my family has and Mr. Weldon's family has suffered as well," said Reme Lee. "And that people will respect pregnancy and pregnant women."
"I'm very proud of my daughter but it's been a very hard road to follow," said Reme Lee's father, James Lee.
The legislation still has to be approved by the full Senate but it has been discussed there.
Reme Lee said she will be back to the Capitol when senators debate and send the bill to the governor the week after next.
The legislation does not require prosecutors to prove intent or that the offender knew the woman was pregnant.
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