Groundbreaking In-the-Womb Photos Now Improved and Republished—Photos considered essential to pro-life movement's history and success
by Peter J. Smith : Oct 20, 2009 : LifeSiteNews.com
Nilsson remarked that although he has not photographed God directly through his microscopic cameras, "I've seen what He does."
EDITOR'S NOTE: A little over twenty-five years ago, and at the time I first learned I was pregnant as a single woman, there were no pregnancy alternative centers in my area. But, it was this book, which my mother gave me that God used to reveal to me the precious life I was now responsible for. Prior to this I hadn't given much thought to the fact that a fetus is truly a baby. However, the incredible photos in Lennart Nilsson's book cemented the words God whispered to my heart when I first learned of my pregnancy; that this baby is a life—a person—and should not be snuffed out. –Aimee Herd, BCN.
(London, UK)—A picture may be worth a thousand words, but for more than fifty years Lennart Nilsson has taken photographs that the pro-life movement has found priceless: the earliest and most compelling visual images that give intimate detail and clarity to the humanity of unborn children in the womb. (Baby surrounded by placenta/Photo by: Lennart Nilsson)
The Swedish photographer is eighty-seven years old, and was the first to open up the secret world of the unborn—from conception up to birth—by way of macro-lenses and endoscopes (tiny instruments—including camera lens and case—that measure less than eight-tenths of a millimeter in diameter).
Nilsson's photographic explorations of the unborn child's life in the womb were revealed to the world first in 1965 as the cover-story for the April 30, 1965 edition of LIFE magazine, entitled The Drama of Life before Birth. But his photographs made their chief debut in that same year in a book called, A Child is Born.
The stunning images published in 1965 have now been remastered with the help of the latest photographic technology and A Child is Born has been republished in a fifth and final edition. Nilsson says this final edition of his book is meant for the reader of the 21st century to enjoy, so that they might appreciate the mystery of a human being's beginnings. Nilsson has cut away most of the scientific text of previous versions, and largely lets the photos speak for themselves.
In a question-and-answer session with fellow Swedish photographer Hasse Persson, Nilsson remarked that although he has not photographed God directly through his microscopic cameras, "I've seen what He does."
The photographs taken by Nilsson are credited with benefitting science in myriad ways, including helping pave the way to 4-D ultrasound technology; but they have also been of invaluable assistance to the pro-life movement, helping to make its case for the humanity of the unborn.
"In the case of Lennart Nilsson's photographs, a picture is worth lives, untold numbers of lives, because those pictures humanize the child in utero," said Judie Brown, President of American Life League.
Brown told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) that Nilsson's work must be placed in the context of the 45 intervening years and the development of ultrasound technologies that image the child in the womb.
"I think we would have been far behind where we are today," without Nilsson's photographs, said Brown, "because he is the inspiration for all the scientists who wanted to do what he had done, but through a realistic way, allowing the mother to see her child living and breathing in her womb."
"If it had not been for him, the whole science of ultrasonography might have been set back as well."
"Images such as those created by Lennart Nilsson absolutely reaffirm the humanity of unborn persons, which is why they are so unpopular with pro-abortion forces," Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, President of Human Life International, told LSN. "It is worthwhile to note that it is pro-lifers who call attention to the latest scientific and technological advances in fetal development research, not pro-abortionists, who seek to deny the obvious humanity of the unborn."
Nilsson himself withholds his opinion on abortion, saying that individuals must come to their own opinion. But service to truth also means service to life, and for that, Euteneuer told LSN, the pro-life movement is grateful for the contributions made by scientists and photographers like Nilsson…
…The fifth edition of A Child Is Born made its European debut in autumn, and an English language version is published in the United Kingdom. LSN sent a message to the book's publisher about the book's debut in the United States and Canada, but did not receive a reply by publication time.A photo-gallery of Nilsson's work is available for viewing at the UK Telegraph here.Readers can also check out Lennart Nilsson's website, which has more images, interviews, and news related to his work.
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