By Letitia Stein
TAMPA, Fla., June 20 (Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott on Friday signed into law harsher penalties for crimes that cause the death of a fetus, no matter how early in the pregnancy.
The law followed a case involving a Tampa man who tricked his girlfriend into taking an abortion drug in the initial weeks of her pregnancy.
John Welden was prosecuted under federal law, in part because Florida law at the time applied only to the killing of a fetus that was far enough along to survive outside the womb.
The new state law, effective Oct. 1, makes it a crime to cause the death of a fetus at any stage of development. (Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Eric Beech)