We have some experience with late terminations: about 10,000 patients between 24 and 36 weeks and something like 800 fetal anomalies between 26 and 36 weeks in the past 5 years.
Why he only counted the "fetal anomalies" between 26 and 36 weeks, and all "late terminations" as between 24 and 36 weeks is a bit bewildering. Was it a misspeak, and he meant to say 24 weeks both times? 26 weeks both times? Did he only bother to tabulate a "fetal anomaly" if the baby was older than 25 weeks?
We can't know. He's dead and can't tell us. But we can do simple math. 800 out of 10,000 is 8%.
Tiller said it himself. About 8% of his late term abortion patients were for "fetal anomalies".
The rest? An analysis of the 30 cases Phil Kline brought charges on revealed women who were "demoralized".
From Tiller's own lips again:
[Y]ou may be here because of some of your own issues of survival. You may have issues of domestic violence: rape, incest, spouse abuse, or child abuse.
You may have some issues of age yourself. You may be 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 years of age. On the other hand, you may be at the end of the other spectrum of fertility. You may be 40, 45, 50, 55, or even 60 years of age.
There may be some issues of poverty such as homelessness. You may have some occupational issues. You may have some financial issues.
But, for whatever reason that you are here... we find that there are many reasons why women find that continuing the pregnancy will cause substantial and irreversible impairment of their physical health, their mental health, their emotional health, their family health, age of the patient, safety and well-being... for whatever reason that you are here, welcome to Wichita, and thank you for the opportunity to be helpful to you.
Tiller did state that some of his patients were there for third-trimester abortions for reasons of their own health:
You may have issues of your own health. You may have some serious disease process: cancer, lymphoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or any one of a number of the other medical problems that can afflict women of child bearing age.
To which I'd say again what I said before -- what doctor in his right mind would keep an already ill patient for three days in a motel room, attended by a layperson, with her recently-killed baby rotting inside her and adding the risk of sepsis to her already fragile health? All of these conditions which Tiller names can be treated close to the woman's home, with the mother safely ensconced in a fully-equipped hospital where medical staff are monitoring her day and night, with access to any medical technology that might be needed to deal with an emergency. Any woman in good enough health to face three days in a motel room with her baby rotting inside her, sticks of seaweed wicking vaginal bacteria into her uterus, and her friend or family member monitoring her condition, before delivering her macerated fetus into a basement toilet is certainly in good enough health to deliver a live baby in a hospital near home. If any of Tiller's patients really were seriously ill, he was inexcusably playing Russian roulette with their lives to make a few thousand dollars from their misery. If they weren't that ill, he was inexcusably lying about what sort of business he was in.
This is the stalwart hero of "reproductive rights".