So far, there have been a couple comments worth passing on:
First, my condolences for your loss. I know it is a deep grief and I'm glad to know that there is a support group for people who have made this difficult decision. My stats are completely anecdotal as a person working in an OBGYN department at an academic hospital. I ran a quick report on the CPT codes our residents use when indicating that they have performed an induced abortion for medical reasons and came up with 66 for the past year. Our hospital has about 2300 deliveries per year, so that's about 3%. Keeping in mind that we are a smaller, rural area, I don't think the 6% figure you used would be far off the mark. I know that we have a full time genetics counselor who meets with families to discuss their options and that she sees about 20 patients per week.
A 2004 study by the Guttmacher Institute shows that 12% of women report terminating because of maternal health problems and 14% report terminating because of potential problems with the health of the fetus:So, the 78,000 terminations for medical reasons estimate I came up with doesn't seem incredibly outlandish. Depending on what gets counted, it might even be on the low side.
These findings are based on self-report and include a wider array of fetal and maternal "indications" than most health restriction laws (proposed and actual) would allow: debilitating morning sickness, preclampsia, use of illicit drugs during early pregnancy (which leads to concern that fetal health has been compromised). But, unfortunately, there aren't many good stats out there about the % of abortions that started as planned or wanted pregnancies ....
How big is 78,000? Well, I looked up the latest government data tracking death estimates for cancer. In 2007, breast cancer is expected to take the lives of 40,000 women. Leukemia will likely kill 22,000, while 12,000 will succumb to brain cancer. All those cancer deaths combined are still less than my estimate of the number of pregnancy terminations for medical reasons.
Once again, WHY is nobody talking about this?