I haven't been around these parts for months and months, but I happened to stop by and see this thread! I've read the whole thing, and here is my .02...
Take a look at this site: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/216.htm
It is the testimony before the House of Representatives of Coreen Costello, a Christian, Republican, Pro-life woman who has had a late term abortion. Powerful, moving testimony.
|My doctor arrived at two in the morning. He held my hand, and informed me that they did not expect our baby to live. She was unable to absorb the amniotic fluid and it was puddling into my uterus. This poor precious child had a lethal neurological disorder and had been unable to move for almost two months. The movements I had been feeling over the last few months had been nothing more than bubbles and fluid. Her chest cavity was unable to rise and fall to stretch her lungs to prepare them for air. It was as if she had no lungs at all. Her vital organs were atrophying. Our darling little girl was going to die.
|We asked if there was any way that Katherine could be born alive. He looked carefully at the ultrasound, measured her head and explained sadly how large it was, and said that there was no way it could fit through my cervix without draining some of the fluid. He also explained that due to the difficulty of the position she was in, they would have to go inside my womb and for that, I would be put under heavy anesthesia. With her heartbeat as irregular and slow as it was already, he did not think she would survive the anesthesia.
|This was the safest way for me to deliver. This left open the possibility of more children. It greatly lowered the health risk to me. Most important, it offered a peaceful, painless passing for Katherine Grace.
Please read the entire page, there is a lot more there that anyone who thinks this procedure is never necessary or is always horribly cruel should read. Another page with stories from women who have had late term abortions: http://www.korrnet.org/choicetn/late.term.html
There is a story here of a fetus without brain tissue (whose diabetic mother would have difficulty healing from a C-section), a fetus without a stomach... Sad, tragic stories that represent the reality of late term abortion.
These are not viable babies. All this talk about babies who would live if only allowed a c-sec delivery is so much sensationalism. These are babies who will die, some of whom are not truly alive in utero. And c-section will not save these babies, it will provide greater risk to the mother.
I'm not going to claim that late term abortion never happens without clear medical cause, but I believe it is rare. Many states already have laws restricting it. You could probably find a pro-life site that claims the opposite. Guess what? That means that the truth is somewhere in the middle. And for me that just doesn't justify taking the choice away from women like those mentioned.