Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ten Years Later, Boy's 'Hand of Hope' Continues to Spark Debate


Wednesday, May 06, 2009
By Joshua Rhett Miller

Nearly 10 years after a stunning photograph of his tiny hand traveled the world, Samuel Armas has a firm grip on what "The Hand of Hope" means to him.

"When I see that picture, the first thing I think of is how special and lucky I am to have God use me that way," Samuel told FOXNews.com. "I feel very thankful that I was in that picture."

On Aug. 19, 1999, photographer Michael Clancy shot the "Fetal Hand Grasp" — his picture of a 21-week-old fetus grasping a doctor's finger during innovative surgery to correctspina bifida. Nearly four months later, on Dec. 2, Samuel Armas was "born famous."

The photo, which first appeared in USA Today on Sept. 7, 1999, quickly spread across the globe as proof of development in the womb and was later cited during congressional debates on the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which passed in 2000.

"It's just a miracle picture, a miracle moment," Clancy told FOXNews.com. "It shows the earliest human interaction ever recorded."

Click here for photos.

Samuel, now 9 and living in Villa Rica, Ga., said the photo likely gave countless "babies their right to live" and forced many others "It's very important to me," Samuel said of the photograph. "A lot of babies would've lost their lives if that didn't happen."

Julie Armas, Samuel's mother, said her eldest son has a "very strong sense of right and wrong" and understands the impact of his unconventional first baby photo.

"He identifies it more in terms of a pro-life message more than anything," she told FOXNews.com. "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." Full story.


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