Tiny feet that changed the world

Tiny feet that changed the world

Dr. Russell Sacco, an Oregon urologist, reached his hand inside a formalin-laden bucket 44 years ago, and held the tiny, perfectly formed bodies of aborted babies. That single, horrifying experience changed his life forever. 

It was 1970, and Dr. Sacco, a Kenosha native who earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, was curious as to the allegations of abortionists who stated that an unborn baby was just a “blob of protoplasm.”

As a practicing Catholic, he believed human life began at conception; but was given no medical training about their development; so, he began studying human embryology to prove that those in the abortion industry were wrong. 

“I had gone to the hospital while other doctors were doing surgeries and sat around with the pathologist and we got to talking about abortions,” he said. “After talking awhile, I remarked how bad it was and he said he wanted to show me something.”

Returning after a few moments, the pathologist handed the plastic bucket to the inquisitive doctor. Not wanting to destroy the tiny bodies, as he was supposed to do, the pro-life pathologist kept vats of aborted remains on a shelf in his office. 

“I stuck my hand in and one by one and held about five or six of these little bodies and realized that not one of them were more than five months gestation,” Dr. Sacco said. “It was so awful and I felt that the only way I could explain to people about the reality of abortion was to photograph them, so I asked if I could take the bucket home and take pictures and prepare some slides and go out and give speeches.”

At home, he photographed each of the tiny bodies, but Dr. Sacco soon realized the public would never know the size of the babies without some comparison. So, he held the babies between his gloved fingers and took some pictures.”

“All of a sudden, I saw these tiny feet; these perfectly formed tiny feet, with little toes, little wrinkles and creases and I held them between my fingers and took the picture. I was crying because I felt so bad – it just really got to me,” he said. “I really didn’t think the photo would be anything, but God must have taken the picture because it was perfect, and I knew that this would be one powerful way to send a message to the world, as this unborn baby was only about 10 weeks along.”

After developing photos of the aborted babies, Dr. Sacco presented them to schools, groups, commercial areas and spoke on television and radio to spread the pro-life message.

“I did this for a while because I especially wanted kids to know how developed these babies are at such a tiny age, so I would try to go someplace where they were at and some were nice and others would call me a bastard,” he said. “I went anyway, but later on, I kind of dropped off from doing it.”

When Roe v. Wade came before the Supreme Court, Dr. Sacco expected the court would rule against abortion because it was evident from his photographs that unborn babies are not “blobs of tissue,” but human beings. 

“I was just so shocked that they went along with this,” he said. “Here I had the proof that these babies were not tissue, but real people. Since Roe v. Wade, more than 51 million babies have been murdered. It is horrifying.”

Dr. Sacco’s photos began making their way around the world and one day he received a call from Australia asking if he had a copyright on the tiny feet photo and if he required payment if it were to be used, and he said no, that everyone was free to use it to spread the word about abortion. The photos were copied and used among many pro-life groups.