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U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer barred from showing photo of unborn infant during hearing

During a Tuesday hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) attempted to present a photograph showing an unborn infant grasping the hand of a physician during an in-utero surgery.

Known as the “Hand of Hope,” the photograph was taken in 1999 by photojournalist Michael Clancy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center during an open fetal surgery in which the 21-week-old infant was being treated for spina bifida.

Discussions during the subcommittee hearing, titled “Roe Reversal: The impacts of taking away the constitutional right to an abortion,” centered around the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the 1973 landmark case.

After being recognized to speak, Palmer, in an attempt to show the humanity of an unborn infant, displayed the photograph while addressing Dr. Christina Francis, the CEO-elect of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

“Dr. Francis, I want to show a poster. This is world-renowned; it’s gone in all types of magazines,” began Palmer before being interrupted by subcommittee chair U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.).

“The gentleman will suspend,” declared DeGette while slamming her gavel. “And the staff will take down that picture… In this committee, we admit documents or photographs on unanimous consent bases.”

Palmer responded in a respectful manner, “I accept the chair’s ruling.”

“Excuse me,” DeGette forcefully interrupted once more. “This has not been shown to the majority, and it has not been agreed to, and there’s no foundation. And we will not allow it to be displayed, and we will not allow it to be submitted for the record.”

“I’m not surprised at all that you wouldn’t want to show this photo of an in-utero surgery in which the child being operated on grasped the finger of the doctor doing the surgery,” continued Palmer. “That picture was taken in 1999.”

“Having not seen the photo, I cannot comment on as to what it is,” quipped an irritated DeGette. “The gentleman decided not to share it with the majority.”

Palmer took to social media to lament the Democratic Party’s “radical” abortion stance and asserted that the subcommittee chair simply desired not to view “the humanity” of an unborn child.

“Democrats have become so radical in their promotion of abortion that they refuse to even look at a photo of in utero surgery that shows the humanity of a child in the womb,” wrote Palmer in a tweet.

The individual shown in the photograph is Samuel Armas, who, according to Palmer, is now 22 years of age.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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