Six states have now banned brutal and inhumane abortions that dismember fully formed unborn children.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law “the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” last Friday, joining — in order– Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama, whose citizens embraced the necessity of passing this model legislation provided by the National Right to Life Committee.
In coverage of this law, most outlets, particularly the Associated Press, refuse to even use the term “dismemberment” which is defined in this legislation. Also unsurprisingly, the media never challenge abortion supporters to defend the appalling savagery of slicing a living unborn baby to pieces.
Yet, even with biased media coverage, the public understood the gruesomeness of sharp metal tools tearing apart the tiny limbs of well-developed children while in their mothers’ wombs.
A majority of Americans who increasingly describe themselves as pro-life know that abortion is not done on a blob of tissue. Many of them confirmed that understanding after seeing a famous photo of a little hand reaching out of his mother’s womb.
That milestone photograph is called “The Hand of Hope” taken Aug. 19, 1999 by Michael Clancy. The photo took the world by storm when it first appeared in USA Today on Sept. 7, 1999. The tiny hand of Samuel Armas, at 21weeks gestation, is captured grasping the skilled hand of the doctor performing innovative surgery to correct spina bifida. All this occurs while Samuel was still in his mother’s womb.
“I could see the uterus shake violently and then this little fist came out of the surgical opening,” Clancy recalls. “It came out under its own power. When Dr. Bruner lifted the little hand, I fired my camera and the tighter Samuel squeezed, the harder Dr. Bruner shook his hand.”
Gov. Sam Brownback remarked about that photograph in his May 5, 2015 letter commemorating the signing of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act in Kansas:
“What a visually impactful moment: the delicate, miniscule hand with each finger and nail, trustingly holding on to the doctor. There is little debate over whether the child in utero is alive; the debate is over whether or not the child is a life worthy of protection.”
Clancy’s lens encapsulates so much meaning in that one shot: a vulnerable, functioning, unborn child, not yet ready to survive outside of his mother who nevertheless lies completely at the mercy of the physician’s medical talent—and ethics.
Clancy says he was “pro-choice” before the snapshot, but not afterwards.
He recognized in that one critical moment what was actually at stake in abortion—not a “choice” but a unique and unrepeatable human individual connected to the human community.
Truly, the unborn child developing in the safety of his mother’s womb is absolutely at the mercy of the laws regulating physicians. Preserving the dignity of that relationship between the mother, child and physician dictated that six states prohibit barbaric dismemberment method abortions.
All pro-lifers who have worked so hard to enact the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act —and those in other states yet to do so– would no doubt agree with this thought from Gov. Brownback’s letter:
“Protection is at the heart of this law. Protection of an actively developing baby with his or her unique DNA, and who can be seen thumb-sucking, hand-waving, and smiling in routine sonography. A defenseless child with so much potential.”