1) Dr. George Tiller was a family practice doctor. He had NO training in high risk pregnancies, fetal or maternal problems.
2) There is no need after 23-24 weeks to ever perform an abortion in the way that Dr. Tiller did, to save or protect maternal life or health in any way. If life or health is threatened all trained obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine physicians can and would simply deliver the baby and place the baby in a neonatal intensive care unit. It happens every day, many times, all over the United States .
3) Sometimes before 23-24 weeks (rarely) a pregnancy has to be delivered because the mother’s life is clearly in danger. In this case, the labor can be induced, the baby delivered and the baby will not survive because of the early gestational age, but this can be done without intent of killing the baby.
4) The only reason abortions were done by Dr. Tiller was because the mother did not want a LIVING baby born. He induced their labor and delivered the baby, almost always killing the baby first, before inducing the labor, to achieve the real purpose for which woman came to him: they did not want to deliver a living baby.
5) If a mother’s life or health was really at risk from her pregnancy it would at least border on malpractice, if not be frank malpractice, for a family practice doctor without any special training in high risk obstetrics to induce the labor in such a woman in the outpatient setting. This alone should make it clear to anyone familiar with medical practice that none of the abortions he did were MEDICALLY necessary, at least not with the need to kill the baby before delivery.
You won’t find any “authoritative” voice that will say exactly what you are looking for. It would be like looking for an authoritative source that says if you jump out of an airplane and want to survive you need a parachute. In other words, it is so obvious, and there is no other way it is normally done, that you don’t need an authoritative source to state this in so many words. Any one in medicine who works in obstetrics would have to admit this.
On the other hand, every single text book on obstetrics or maternal-fetal medicine can be scoured and you will not find any description stating that killing a fetus before delivery is necessary to save the life or health of the mother, in any circumstance. This should be evidence enough. . ...
Nathan Hoeldtke, MD for the Pro-Life Maternal-Fetal Medicine Group.
Dr. Hoeldke's credentials:
Dr. Hoeldtke is a physician with Mid-South Perinatal Associates who specializes in caring for women with a high-risk pregnancy.
He received his fellowship training in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and completed residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington.
He received his medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine and a bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific University.
Most recently, he held the position of Medical Director, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii.
He is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Dr. Hoeldtke has published numerous articles and abstracts relating to the field of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
You can search Dr. Hoeldke's mentions in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology compared with Dr. Tiller's.
Dr. Hoeldtke's Tennessee physician profile. Hawaii doesn't give as much information.
ADDENDUM: Kathy also graciously provided this link to the Kansas health department's abortion report. If you scroll down on the 2008 report, for example, you'll find 192 of these abortions after 22 weeks were done on fetuses the doctor (presumably Tiller, since he was the guy who did them) determined were viable, compared to 131 in which he said they weren't viable. If you look at how it was determined that the fetus was not viable, Tiller always just checked ""It is the professional judgment of the attending physician that there is a reasonable probability that this pregnancy is not viable." A reasonable probability. In not a single case did he check "Ultrasound - Extreme immaturity of heart and lungs". In not a single case did he check "Hypoplastic Left Heart, Chromosome abnormality". In not a single case did he check "0 Apgar score; mother had severe oligohydramnios; fetus had poly/multicystic kidney disease". In not a single case did he check "Diagnosis by genetic specialist with no amniotic fluid and other abnormalities". In not a single case did he check "Extreme Immaturity of Organs". In not a single case did he check "Anencephaly". In not a single case did he check "Hypoplastic L Heart determined by Level 2 ULS and perinatology consultation". In not a single case did he check "Trisomy 22 Hydrocephaly". NOT ONE TIME IN 2008 did Tiller even determine that there was anything specific wrong with one of the third-trimester babies he aborted that gave him any reason to believe the baby had no chance of survival. He just generically checked off that in his "professional judgment" there was "a reasonable probability that the pregnancy is not viable".
That needs to be said again: The vast majority of third-trimester fetuses are viable. Tiller did not check at ANY time in 2008 that there was a SPECIFIC DIAGNOSIS that led him to believe that ANY fetus he was aborting wasn't viable. And in 192 of 323 third trimester abortions (59% - over half) he flat out admitted flat out that he knew the fetus was perfectly viable.
It's as if he flipped a coin to decide if he'd check the box for "fetus viable" versus "fetus not viable". When he checked "not viable", he never, never once, gave a specific reason that a baby of viable gestational age was, in his "professional judgment", not actually viable.
What about 2007? He thought 6 fetuses were too young to be viable. For the remaining 119, he gave no reason for thinking they weren't viable. And not a single "life of the mother" abortion.
In 2006, six too young, the remaining 141, he gave no specific reason to think they weren't viable. Not a single "life of the mother" abortion.
I need to leave for work now. I will definitely revisit this later.