Photographer Michael Clancy and Samuel Armas, the picture

Michael Clancy is a photographer who had the opportunity to take a picture that would change many people’s minds about abortion.

In 1999 Samuel Armas was a 21-week-old unborn baby who had been diagnosed with spina bifida, a congenital deformity of the spine. His parents, Julie and Alex Armas, were determined to give birth to their baby son. Surgery was scheduled when Little Samuel was still in the womb. It was performed when he was 21 weeks along.

During the procedure, as the womb was cut open, the baby reached out and grasped the surgeons finger. The surgeon’s name is Dr. Joseph Bruner. Here is the picture that was taken of this miraculous moment:

The man who took the photograph, Michael Clancy, later said that he converted from pro-choice to pro-life on the spot. According to Clancy:

“Suddenly, an 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!”

“I was totally in shock for two hours after the surgery… I know abortion is wrong now – it’s absolutely wrong.”


Little Samuel Armas was born in December 1999 and is a healthy child today.

A picture of Samuel, who was born at 36 weeks.


Source: Chuck Colson “Life-And-Death Decisions: Praying for the Supremes” Breakpoint Commentary #000425, April 25, 2000

Also quoted in Randy Alcorn “Pro-life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments” (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, 2000)

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