Of the proportion done due to "fetal indications", there is also no breakdown of whether the diagnosis was verified, or indeed if the mother had been given any diagnosis by a medical professional at all. "Fetal indications" counts come purely from surveys, and can include anything from lethal conditions such as anencephaly, to minor and correctable conditions such as an extra finger, to merely the suspicion that something about the baby might be less than perfect.
But I'd like to look at the most sympathetic lot of late-abortion patients: Women who have been given a serious prenatal diagnosis.
And I'd like to address something that's rarely brought up: Are these women really aborting because they've been given accurate information by an unbiased medical professional? Were they given a chance to get a second opinion? Were they given information about carrying to term? Were they given a chance to get past the shock of the diagnosis before making the irreversible decision to abort?
Nobody is collecting information on this. So all I can give is a few anecdotes of the pressure women are placed under to abort after an unfavorable diagnosis.
I think that prolife and prochoice have common ground on this: Parents ought not to be emotionally beaten up by medical professionals trying to get them to abort, and they especially ought not to be subjected to attempts to get them to abort immediately after getting a diagnosis, before they even have time to absorb the information.
Here is a story from George Tiller's patients who did end up going through with an abortion after a fetal diagnosis:
How many of Tiller's "fetal indications" patients were only there because they'd been frightened, browbeaten, or misled by doctors? We'll never know. The parents for whom the prognosis was wrong will never know themselves, since they killed all hope when they allowed Tiller to perform the lethal injection.
Choosing abortion after a prenatal diagnosis is choosing the way of despair. It guarantees that there will be a tragic outcome, removing forever any hope that the diagnosis or prognosis might not have been as grim as doctors originally believed.
Consider this: When a doctor is making a prognosis, he is doing what the TV weatherman does every day -- predicting the future. Would you stake your child's life on a weather forecast? Probably not. Then what sense does it make to stake your child's life on any other professional's best guess?
Perinatal hospice is a better way: it offers support for the family of a baby diagnosed with a serious problem before birth, while leaving open the door of hope.