Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Lesson from Samuel

This is a reprint from an Article published by The Talbot County Right to Life in The Star Democrat. This article deserves to be read and truly thought about.

A Child or choice: As a veteran photojournalist in Nashville, Tennessee I was hired by USA Today to photograph a spina bifida corrective surgical procedure. It was to be performed a twenty one week old fetus in utero at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. At the time, twenty one weeks in utero, was the earliest was the earliest the surgical team would consider for surgery. The worst possible outcome would be that the surgery would cause premature delivery and no child earlier than twenty three weeks has survived.
The tension could be felt as the surgical team began. A typical C- Section was made to access the uterus, which was laid out at the juncture of the mother's thighs. The entire procedure would take place with the uterus and no part was to breech the surgical opening. During the procedure, the fetus was adjusted gently manipulating the outside of the fetus. The entire surgical procedure was completed in one hour and thirteen minutes. When it was over the surgical team breathed a sigh of relief, as I did.
As a doctor asked me what speed of film I was using, out of the corner of my eye I saw the uterus shake, but there was no hands near it. It was shaken from within. Suddenly, a entire arm thrust out of the opening, then pulled back until just a little hand was showing. The doctor reached over and lifted the hand, which reacted and squeezed the doctor's finger. As if testing for strength, the doctor shook the tiny fist. Samuel held firm, I took the picture! Wow! It happened so fast that he nurse standing next to me said, "What happened?" "The child reached out", I said, "Oh they do that all the time", she responded. The surgical opening to the uterus was closed and put back into the mother and the C-section was closed.
It was ten days before I knew if the picture was even in focus. To ensure no digital manipulations of images before they see them USA Today requires the film to be submitted unprocessed. When the photo editor finally phoned me he said, "It is the most incredible picture I have ever seen! To see the picture go to Michael Clancy, photographer.
EVERY UNBORN CHILD DESERVES A CHANCE AT LIFE: Samuel was a precious living baby inside his mother's womb. The word fetus literally means, "Unborn offspring". Today many people think that a fetus is nothing more than an unshaped mass without shape or feeling. This type of thinking makes it easier to consider abortion. Now we know through the use of ultrasound that Samuel and other pre-born babies are living human beings with the foundation of brain and spinal cord at 18-20 days, a heartbeat at 21 days, arms, and legs at 28 to 32 days, and brain activity at 42 days. We know that no other times in our lives does more growth and change happen than in the first nine months of birth.

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