Fox News posted a story this week about Samuel Armas—a 9 (almost 10!)-year-old boy who has been famous since before he was born for his part in the “Fetal Hand Grasp” picture taken in 1999. It was his 21-week-old hand that was photographed reaching out from the womb to grasp the doctor’s finger while he underwent surgery in-uterus to correct spina bifida.
Almost ten years later, Samuel is a poster-child for the pro-life cause, claiming that his picture served to re-ignite the abortion debate and made many people think twice before choosing abortion:
“It’s very important to me. A lot of babies would’ve lost their lives if that didn’t happen.”
Samuel’s mother, Julie Armas also had this to say about her son:
“He identifies it more in terms of a pro-life message more than anything. This photo happened and God used it to show people that this baby in mom’s tummy is alive. He’s pleased that his photo conveyed that message.”
Samuel’s photo has influenced many people over the years, and not just young women considering abortion. Michael Clancy, the previously pro-choice photographer who captured the image, has been a pro-life motivational speaker since the day he witnessed little Samuel’s hand.
“That’s what I’m going to do, keep telling this story. It can change people’s hearts. What started off as an assignment turned into a responsibility to jeep telling the story behind it.”
Fox News also reported on the controversy still surrounding the photograph. While Clancy claims that he saw the baby’s hand come out of the womb on its own, Dr. Bruner, the surgeon and other hand in the picture, says that both Samuel and his mother were under anesthesia and would not have been able to move.
Clancy is sticking to his story.
“I could see the uterus shake violently and then this little fist came out of the surgical opening. It came out under its own power. When Dr. Druner lifted the little hand, I fired my camera and the tighter Samuel squeezed, the harder Dr. Bruner shook his hand.”
Regardless of the controversy, Samuel and his family are just thankful that they’ve been apart of this amazing part of the pro-life movement history, as well as Samuel’s health. He is a great role model to his other siblings, one of whom also has spina bifida. Julie Armas had these parting words:
“The fact of the matter is it’s a child with a hand, with a life, and that’s meaningful enough.”to air during the American Idol finale later this month. Be sure to check it out here.