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The Wonder of Life in the Womb

Samuel Armas' tiny hand grips Dr. Joseph P. Bruner's finger just as Bruner finishes returning him to his mother's womb - Dec. 9, 1999

Photo credit: Michael Clancy 12/9/99
Reprinted with permission from Michael Clancy

USA Today Photographer converted to Pro-life after taking foetal surgery photos

NASHVILLE, September 23, 2002 ( - The famous photo of baby Samuel's hand reaching out from the uterus of his mother at 21-weeks gestation during foetal surgery, has turned the veteran photo-journalist hired by USA Today for the shoot into a pro-life activist. Michael Clancy, who snapped the photo after seeing the baby's hand jut out of the hole in the womb made by the surgeons, now offers his image free of charge to pro-life groups.

On his website, Clancy explains that "During a spina bifida corrective procedure at twenty-one weeks in utero, Samuel thrusts his tiny hand out of the surgical opening of his mother's uterus. As the doctor lifts his hand, Samuel reacts to the touch and squeezes the doctor's finger. As if testing for strength, the doctor shakes the tiny fist. Samuel held firm. At that moment, I took this 'Fetal Hand Grasp' photo."

In his Mission Statement Clancy says he wants to "print the picture of Samuel on posters for donation to Crisis Pregnancy Centers," and billboards are next on the agenda. "If you think you could help in putting the picture of Samuel on billboards, preferably next to high schools and abortion clinics, please email me with your suggestions," writes Clancy.

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