Friday, 1 August 2008

Media 2008-06-05 Fetal Photo - Permission to publish

Press Release
5th June 2008

Controversial Fetal Photo- Permission to freely publish.

The temperature in Victoria's abortion law debate spiked yesterday, when a storm of protest was raised after Peter Kavanagh, DLP Member of Victoria's Upper House, emailed all state MPs an image of a 21 week old fetus holding a surgeon's finger after life saving surgery.

Some MPs immediately emailed and phoned expressions of their extreme offence at Mr Kavanagh's email of "A telling image".

The image shows Samuel Armas, who is now 7 years old, when he was a 21 week old fetus. Just after the surgeon had completed pioneering fetal corrective surgery, the unborn fetus was photographed holding the surgeon's finger.

An episode of the TV drama "House" shown in the US last year centred around this event captured by Photojournalist Michael Clancy.

If you would like to publish the photo, copyright holder Michael Clancy has communicated his permission to Australian newspapers to do so freely (see below).

Controversial picture is also attached below. The picture contains an image following surgery and is not suitable for children.

For more information contact Peter Kavanagh 03 5222 1503.

Permission from Michael Clancy to Publish Picture
"The attached copy of the picture, Samuel reaching from his mother's womb during a surgical procedure to correct spina bifida in the womb, is a file large enough for print reproduction.

I, Michael Clancy, as photographer of the attached image and sole copyright holder of the picture, give my permission for any newspapers in Australia to reproduce the image in their publication. The picture was taken at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre on August 19th 1999. Samuel Armas is holding the finger of Dr. Joseph P. Bruner, the pioneer of the surgical procedure."

Source of below attached photo:
Caution: The picture "A Telling Image" relates to surgery, not suitable for children -


Peter Kavanagh MLC
Member for Western Victoria
Parliament of Victoria

"La Cabine"
2nd Floor
1 Yarra Street
Geelong VIC 3220

Ph: 03 5222 1503
Fax: 03 5222 8677


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