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An Update on Samuel Armas "The Hand of Hope"
National Right to Life News ^ | 10-31-03 | Jonathan Imbody

Posted on 10/31/2003 6:53:55 PM PST by cpforlife.org

"The Hand That Touched The World" Nearly Four Years Later

It was the "hand of hope," a photo of an unborn baby's hand, that made its way around the world within days of appearing in USA Today. Taken by Michael Clancy, the color photo showed Samuel's tiny hand grasping a surgeon's finger during in utero surgery. See story, page 9 about Samuel's visit to a Senate Committee hearing. Photo above by John Imbody

A Flash of Life

Special to NRL News by Jonathan Imbody

Flashing an impish grin, three-year-old Samuel Armas quickly ducked behind a chair as a photographer tried to capture his picture at a recent Senate hearing in Washington, D.C. Samuel hadn't seemed quite so shy during his first photographic session. A photo of his tiny hand, grasping a surgeon's finger during in utero surgery, traveled around the globe and stunned a world that had tried to hide its face from the reality of life in the womb. (The photo can be viewed at www.michaelclancy.com.)

Samuel's parents, Alex and Julie Armas of Villa Rica, Georgia, testified September 25 before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space about the photo and their experience with in utero surgery. They were joined at the hearing by Dr. James Thorp, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at the University of Florida Pensacola, and by Michael Clancy, the photographer who captured Samuel's awe-inspiring grasp.

Dr. Thorp testified that in utero surgery, while still in the experimental stages and posing significant risks, offers incredible promise to parents of unborn children with birth defects. Alex and Julie explained that their surgery, initiated to treat spina bifida, remarkably changed the course of Samuel's life and of their own lives.

Alex testified, "Today, Samuel is nearly four years old and has not had to endure the surgeries that are common for most children with spina bifida. He's walking with leg braces, is cognitively normal, and loves looking for bugs."

Sitting behind his father who was testifying, Samuel wore a tee shirt displaying a few of those bugs. Committee chairman Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Ks.), himself the father of five children, called Samuel up to join his parents at the witness table for a few questions. He pointed to the large-scale version of the photograph and asked if Samuel knew what it was.

"Baby Samuel."

Asked what the doctors had done that day, three-year-old Samuel succinctly summarized the sophis-ticated surgery: "They fixed my boo-boo."

Julie recalled in her testimony the moment they heard the results of the pre-natal tests that revealed Samuel's "boo-boo."

"The first words my doctor said were, 'This is really bad.'"

In his testimony, Alex noted, "We were devastated. It's every parent's worst nightmare to learn that something is very wrong with your child. The doctor painted a grim picture for us and stopped just short of suggesting an abortion."

As Alex explained to NRL News after the hearing, "Our view was that after years of trying to conceive, this was the baby God chose to give us. Julie and I are both Christians. Scripture is clear on the sanctity of life in the womb, so ending the pregnancy was never an option for us."

Spina bifida, a sometimes fatal and typically severe brain and spinal cord anomaly, results from the spine failing to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. If the baby survives, spina bifida often leaves debilitating defects including accumulation of fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus), and a host of devastating secondary conditions.

Julie, an obstetrics nurse, decided after hearing the diagnosis to research treatments and discovered a pioneering program of maternal-fetal (in utero) surgery for spina bifida at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After intensive consultations with the medical staff, Julie and Alex not only gave the go-ahead for sur-gery on 21-week-old Samuel; they also agreed to let USA Today photograph the event as a way to increase awareness of the new procedure.

USA Today assigned photojournalist Michael Clancy to capture the surgery on film. Michael had no idea that the shoot would change his life forever.

As he explained to NRL News, "Before the picture, I felt that as a man I could never be pregnant and alone, so it wasn't for me to decide whether abortion was right or wrong. I was indifferent."

Michael described for the Senate hearing the details of his experience during the surgery:

"The tension could be felt in the operating room as the surgery began. The procedure would take place within the uterus, and no part of the child was to breach the surgical opening. The entire surgical procedure on the child was completed in one hour and 13 minutes. When it was over, the surgical team breathed a sigh of relief, as did I.

"As a doctor asked me what speed film I was using, out of the corner of my eye I saw the uterus shake, but no one's hands were near it. It was shaking from within.

"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!"

When the USA Today photo editor later phoned Michael to confirm its publication, the editor declared, "It's the most incredible picture I've ever seen." The photo appeared in the newspaper in September 2000 and spread at warp speed across the globe - - leading USA Today to subsequently refer to it as the "hand of a fetus [that] touched the world."

Meanwhile, Samuel's surgery had delivered the results for which his parents had hoped and prayed.

"Immediately after surgery," Alex recalls, "the hydrocephalus stopped progressing and started to slowly decrease." By the time Samuel was born, 15 weeks later, his brain malformation had reversed and the hydrocephalus had mostly disappeared.

Alex and Julie shared with NRL News the impact the surgery and photo have had on their own lives.

"The combined trials of infertility followed by Samuel's spina bifida and fetal surgery made for a roller coaster ride that dramatically matured our marriage and each of us individually," Alex confided. "We've experienced God's hand at work in two ways. First, Samuel clearly benefited from the surgery, and we're thankful for his progress and the absence of many problems that typically accompany children with spina bifida.

"Second, we're humbled by God's use of the hand-photo as a ministry. The article and photo were shown all over the world and have been used extensively by pro-life and Christian organizations to illustrate life inside the womb."

Since the publishing of Samuel's "hand of hope," images recently published in Britain of the "smiling fetus" - - a remarkable image captured by a new ultrasound scanning machine - - are again challenging the world to open its eyes to the wonder and reality of nascent human life. The stunningly detailed four-dimensional images reveal developing babies smiling, blinking, sucking their fingers, scratching their noses, hiccupping, and crying.

As Sen. Brownback observed during the hearing, "There is little debate about whether the child in utero is alive; the debate is over whether or not the child is a life worthy of protection." By bearing witness to the divinely knit wonders within the womb, extraordinary scientific technology is challenging many to reconsider that question.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; fetalsurgery; nrlc; prolife; samuelarmas
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The three pictures below, and the one in the above article are of the same person--Samuel Armas. He was born on Thursday, Dec. 2, 1999 weighing 5 lbs 11 oz.

If it would be illegal to kill Samuel any day after he was born, why is it "legal" to kill Samuel any day before he is born?

"THE HAND OF HOPE". Surgery on 21-week-old Samuel." Samuel's thoughts on his photo: "They fixed my boo-boo."

BELOW: Samuel at home in Crib

BELOW: Samuel at play (from a summer 2003 Newsweek article)


1 posted on 10/31/2003 6:53:55 PM PST by cpforlife.org
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To: MHGinTN; Coleus; nickcarraway; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; TenthAmendmentChampion; ...
An Update on Samuel Armas "The Hand of Hope" PING

Please let me know if you want on or off my Pro-Life Ping List.

2 posted on 10/31/2003 6:56:37 PM PST by cpforlife.org (The Missing Key of the Pro-Life Movement is at www.CpForLife.org)
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To: cpforlife.org
Appreciate the ping. Seeing the little guy at present age brings tears of joy to these old eyes. The surgeon treated a little patient, a little living patient, in his Mother's womb. He was/is a child, not a choice.
3 posted on 10/31/2003 7:08:41 PM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: cpforlife.org
Thank you so much for posting this. I know the Lord will bless this family and this boy because they feared God and did the right thing. They had "options" I guess and it's wonderful to see they didn't make that "choice". God is faithful!

Ex 1:17 "But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live."

Ex 1:21" Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them."

4 posted on 10/31/2003 7:10:44 PM PST by SpookBrat (The devil is a liberal)
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To: cpforlife.org
So nice.
5 posted on 10/31/2003 7:33:51 PM PST by fatima (Chesseball Barf Tush)
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To: cpforlife.org
Thanks very much for the post.
6 posted on 10/31/2003 8:09:28 PM PST by Artist
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To: cpforlife.org
BUMP
7 posted on 10/31/2003 8:29:59 PM PST by nickcarraway (www.terrisfight.org)
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To: cpforlife.org
Thanks for this ping!

This is one of the most moving pictures that has moved to left a little closer to the right on abortion!
8 posted on 11/01/2003 8:06:34 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: cpforlife.org; *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; ..
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via Freepmail if you would like to be added to or removed from the Catholic Discussion Ping list.

9 posted on 11/01/2003 8:11:05 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: cpforlife.org; Salvation
Excellent post.

Thank you.
10 posted on 11/01/2003 10:23:24 AM PST by Tantumergo
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To: cpforlife.org
Right On!
11 posted on 11/01/2003 10:47:42 AM PST by oceanperch (Respite care, it is a good thing.)
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To: cpforlife.org
Wow, this is so heartwarming and awesome.
12 posted on 11/01/2003 11:02:10 AM PST by tiki
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To: cpforlife.org
What a wonderful story and a beautiful child:)
13 posted on 11/01/2003 4:59:08 PM PST by OMalley
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To: cpforlife.org
bump
14 posted on 11/01/2003 5:05:26 PM PST by 2timothy3.16
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...
`
15 posted on 04/03/2004 4:33:24 PM PST by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: cpforlife.org
LIFE BUMP
16 posted on 04/04/2004 8:27:32 AM PDT by workerbee
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To: 2nd amendment mama; A2J; Agitate; Alouette; Annie03; aposiopetic; attagirl; axel f; Balto_Boy; ...

Come see how he looks these days!

ProLife Ping!

If anyone wants on or off my ProLife Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.

17 posted on 04/04/2004 8:35:46 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback (Pre-empt the third murder attempt: Pray for Terri Schiavo.)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Thank you for pinging me. I have chills running up and down my whole body....our God is a wonderful God to enable the doctors to perform this kind of surgery!!!

Damnation to Hell for eternity to all those who sanction and endorse the wholesale murder of our children!
18 posted on 04/04/2004 9:29:45 AM PDT by 2nd amendment mama
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To: Mr. Silverback
Pro-life bump.
19 posted on 04/04/2004 11:29:23 AM PDT by fatima (My Granddaughter Karen is in Iraq-We unite with all our troops and send our love-)
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To: dd5339; cavtrooper21
life ping!
20 posted on 04/04/2004 8:18:13 PM PDT by Vic3O3 (Jeremiah 31:16-17 (KJV))
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To: Mr. Silverback
Thank your for the ping! This touches my heart so much - My youngest son was born September 2000, about the same age as Samuel. I remember this story so well when it broke back then. Wonderful to hear that he's a bouncy little boy, now. Just wonderful to hear....
21 posted on 04/05/2004 11:31:51 AM PDT by momfirst
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To: cpforlife.org

All I can say is "Praise the Lord God Almighty" and please, if you support infanticide, please rethink your view. God is good...


22 posted on 08/16/2004 1:25:19 PM PDT by ApesForEvolution (DemocRATS are communists and want to destroy America only to replace it with the USSA)
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Birth is one day in the life of a person who is already nine months old.

23 posted on 10/21/2004 2:44:04 AM PDT by cpforlife.org (Birth is one day in the life of a person who is already nine months old.)
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To: cpforlife.org
When I was 19 weeks pregnant My daughter was diagnosed with CCAM ( congenital cystic malformation of her left lung). I was advised to have an abortion . I was told that she would never make to full term. That I would have to have her taken out of me. Then they would take her lung out and put her back in me. That never happened then I was told she would develope hydrops ( fluid around her heart) that never happened. I had two weeks to decide to aboard my baby my husband said god gave us her and god will give us the strenght to deal with what ever comes our way! Our decision was final! We would have our daughter thank god for our making the right decision our daughter was born. She was not rushed to surgery to remove her lung she was a miracle. she came home with us four days latter! Her daddy passed away when she was only two.Now she is all I have she did under go surgery last summer she only had 1/4 th of her lung removed ! She is a competiave gymnast and was back in the gym 3 weeks after surgery! Sometimes these doctors try to play god! I feel they should have to show that photo to the families before they play god and tell some one to have an abortion!!!
24 posted on 07/11/2005 8:53:59 PM PDT by rivergirl
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To: MHGinTN; Coleus; nickcarraway; narses; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; ...

Story of the "Fetal Hand Grasp" Photograph
by the photographer himself. Excellent website.
http://www.michaelclancy.com/story.html


25 posted on 08/25/2005 11:50:42 AM PDT by cpforlife.org (Abortion is the Choice of Satan, the father of lies and a MURDERER from the beginning.)
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To: cpforlife.org

Thank you for the ping. What a wonderful testimony.


26 posted on 08/25/2005 11:54:03 AM PDT by .30Carbine (To God Be the Glory)
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To: cpforlife.org
Great photos and story...

The argument that fetuses have feeling for pain is unfounded, and callous statement for person that can't defend themselves. The "Right to Life" is the argument, not when or how to murder a fetus.

27 posted on 08/25/2005 12:05:26 PM PDT by Smartass (Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: cpforlife.org
COORECTION:
Great photos and story...

The argument that fetuses have NO feeling for pain is unfounded, and callous statement for person that can't defend themselves. The "Right to Life" is the argument, not when or how to murder a fetus.
28 posted on 08/25/2005 12:07:23 PM PDT by Smartass (Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: rivergirl

What a great story! God's blessings on you and your daughter.


29 posted on 08/25/2005 12:38:00 PM PDT by Caleb1411
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To: rivergirl
Bless you and your little girl.

The medical community always errs on the side of abortion for liability reasons. There is the "wrongful birth" concept in law, in which the child can sue for having been born. There is no "wrongful abortion" to counterbalance it - since once the baby is aborted she cannot sue.

Your little gymnist was, in their eyes, just a number, a potential suer. In recommending abortion they were looking out for #1: themselves.

30 posted on 08/25/2005 12:47:16 PM PDT by Lexinom
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To: cpforlife.org; nickcarraway; sandyeggo; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; NYer; american colleen; Pyro7480; ...
Catholic Discussion Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.

Hopefully all of you have seen these photos previously. In case you didn't --- here they are!!!

31 posted on 08/25/2005 4:58:28 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: cpforlife.org; Salvation

Outstanding thanks much.


32 posted on 08/25/2005 5:09:00 PM PDT by ex-snook (Protectionism is Patriotism in both war and trade.)
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To: cpforlife.org; All; Salvation



"Samuel; Samuel; may dear Lord have you in his arms. Samuel live in life and prosper Ameno; Amen."


thank you all


33 posted on 08/25/2005 5:19:04 PM PDT by anonymoussierra (Nie bądź pochopny w duchu do gniewu, bo gniew przebywa w piersi głupców)
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To: Salvation

What a great amazing success story. Look at that little baby's hand. And fetus's aren't live people, huh. If their not a person, then what are they after their born?


34 posted on 08/25/2005 5:34:16 PM PDT by Smartass (Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: cpforlife.org

One more bump.


35 posted on 08/25/2005 5:53:33 PM PDT by Our_Man_In_Gough_Island
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To: cpforlife.org

Dr. Bruner, who performed the surgery on Samuel Armas, is not a pro-life champion by any stretch of the imagination: http://www.catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=69


36 posted on 08/25/2005 6:46:41 PM PDT by Sashula (displaced Texan)
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To: cpforlife.org; american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
As Alex explained to NRL News after the hearing, "Our view was that after years of trying to conceive, this was the baby God chose to give us. Julie and I are both Christians. Scripture is clear on the sanctity of life in the womb, so ending the pregnancy was never an option for us."

A beautiful story of life! One that I have followed over the past few years. Thank you for posting the follow up.

Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


37 posted on 08/25/2005 6:48:07 PM PDT by NYer
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To: NYer

I love that photo! I'm glad to see he's doing well. What a cutie!


38 posted on 08/25/2005 7:15:11 PM PDT by samiam1972 (Live simply so that others may simply live!)
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To: Mr. Silverback

Wow. That's fantastic! Thanks for the ping / update.


39 posted on 08/26/2005 1:57:46 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Cindy Sheehan: "All You Are Saying Is Give APPEASEMENT A Chance!")
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To: 2nd amendment mama
Damnation to Hell for eternity to all those who sanction and endorse the wholesale murder of our children!

Unfortunately it won't end so long as they're seducing our young with clever turns of phrase like "the tissue is gently removed from the uterus," "retained products of conception" and "gently removing the contents of the uterus by vacuum aspiration." And, let's not forget girls: "Avoid sexual intercourse until your body has fully recovered, usually for at least 1 week." Don't worry, You'll be ready to go for prom night!

Makes me want to vomit.

40 posted on 08/26/2005 2:47:30 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Cindy Sheehan: "All You Are Saying Is Give APPEASEMENT A Chance!")
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To: cpforlife.org

Thank you for the return bump ... Senator Brownback has the floor: "As Sen. Brownback observed during the hearing, "There is little debate about whether the child in utero is alive; the debate is over whether or not the child is a life worthy of protection." And therein is the tale of our dying nation, too many have made the 'god-like' choice that they know something contrary to the Creator's mind and have a right to spit in God's face with the abortion slaughter. May God have mercy upon US, we deserve His wrath.


41 posted on 08/26/2005 3:55:28 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: cpforlife.org

Bruner's deception fits the MSM template for defending and 'normalizing' abortion slaughter, hence Bruner's arrogant stance will be promoted as fact and none of the reasons for him deceiving will be questioned. Wouldn't want to be Bruner one minute after his death.


42 posted on 08/26/2005 4:09:14 AM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: NYer
Wrongful Life
43 posted on 08/26/2005 4:50:15 AM PDT by Cincinnatus
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To: cpforlife.org

Thank you very very much for your great post. God bless you.


44 posted on 08/26/2005 7:40:18 AM PDT by Thomas for life
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To: Mr. Silverback

Mr. Silverback, you don't happen to have the "smiling fetus" photo do you? I haven't seen it.


45 posted on 08/26/2005 7:50:47 AM PDT by tuckrdout (The good man wins his case by careful argument; the evil-minded only wants to fight. Prov. 13:2)
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To: Mr. Silverback
Here is the "smiling fetus" I found it:


46 posted on 08/26/2005 8:23:50 AM PDT by tuckrdout (The good man wins his case by careful argument; the evil-minded only wants to fight. Prov. 13:2)
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To: Salvation

Bump!

Wouldn't it be ironic if the same technology (medicine) that made abortions possible, would make such a "choice" unappealing to anyone with a heart.


47 posted on 08/26/2005 8:35:41 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: fatima; NYer; Salvation; LUV W
-----------------------------------------------------------"My dear Samuel I am far far far away; I am sending you this massage of you to be faithful to a Lord and from me is this pictures; sometimes when you lonely and sad look upon them for these will give you hope; in fore live in peace and at the end; or fore you will be filled with love from above." ----------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BE STRONG SAMUEL BE STRONG GOD G-D DO WILL HELP YOU thank you all






48 posted on 08/26/2005 11:37:20 AM PDT by anonymoussierra (Nie bądź pochopny w duchu do gniewu, bo gniew przebywa w piersi głupców)
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To: 2nd amendment mama

Amen!


49 posted on 08/26/2005 1:32:47 PM PDT by LUV W (A BAD DAY FOR THE DIMS IS A GOOD DAY FOR THE COUNTRY!!!!!! GET CINDY OUTTA CRAWFORD!)
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.


50 posted on 09/02/2005 10:38:32 AM PDT by firewalk
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