A young woman has taken it upon herself to fight the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. Lila Rose, a homeschool graduate and President of Live Action, says, “When I walk into Planned Parenthoods across the country, I am flattered to see my picture on the wall. It is because to Planned Parenthood, I am ‘a known anti-choice extremist.’ This is one of the better compliments I have received.” Since founding Live Action in 2004, Rose has been rallying pro-life activists while rattling the abortion industry and its advocates.
In 2006, Rose and her group began orchestrating undercover campaigns at Planned Parenthood centers across the country. Most recently in a video released on February 1, 2011, she caught Planned Parenthood workers advising a “pimp” on how to falsify documents and avoid detection while obtaining abortions and other services for underage girls. Once again, Live Action exposed the questionable tactics of Planned Parenthood staff members willing to intentionally break laws and cover up abuse.
Live Action is a growing organization of student volunteers and youth leaders “dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion.” According to the group’s mission statement, “We use new media to educate the public about the humanity of the unborn and investigative journalism to expose threats against the vulnerable and defenseless.” Through the internet, they mobilize a nationwide audience to demand accountability from the abortion industry and human rights for the pre-born. Lila explains, “Through the videos and investigations, we want to educate the public, to urge state authorities to enforce the law, and then encourage legislators to end taxpayer subsidies of Planned Parenthood.”
Lila Rose was born on July 27, 1988, the third of eight children. Raised in San Jose, California, she was homeschooled through the end of high school while also attending a part-time Christian school and a junior college. “My parents taught us from a young age to respect and cherish all people’s lives. When I was 13, after learning more and more about abortion, I decided I had to do something about it.” Lila, a devout Catholic, began giving pro-life presentations to schools and youth groups. “When I was 15, I had started Live Action as a high-school pro-life group in my hometown, and it has been an adventure ever since to develop our strategies and work to reach more people with the truth.”
Rose majored in history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she continued her pro-life activism. As a freshman in the fall of 2006, Lila founded a pro-life student magazine administered through the new UCLA chapter of Live Action. The Advocate has since gone national with a circulation of nearly 100,000 copies distributed to high school and college campuses around the country. More than 40 young people dedicated their time to creating the latest issue. The quarterly magazine includes pro-life news, cutting edge research, and personal stories of women who have been affected by abortion.
At UCLA, Lila met James O’Keefe III, who later became famous for his hidden camera expose of ACORN in September 2009. Between 2006 and 2008, both Rose and O’Keefe were trained by The Leadership Institute, a Virginia-based educational foundation that teaches public relations and communication skills to conservatives. But the two young conservative activists found an unlikely source of inspiration in the grassroots organizing handbook “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky, the legendary left-wing activist who inspired President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Among Alinsky’s most noted admonitions is one that O’Keefe and Rose took to heart: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
After further inspiration by Texas anti-abortion activist Mark Crutcher’s taping of phone calls to hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics, Rose and O’Keefe came up with the idea of visiting Planned Parenthood centers wearing hidden video cameras. The duo visited their first clinic, UCLA’s Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, in the fall of 2006. They videotaped an employee telling them “some pretty bad things,” said O’Keefe. “That’s what set us in motion.”
Since then, Live Action has completed several undercover projects that provide the public the inside story about the abortion industry and its alarming pattern of abuses across the nation. The videos often feature Lila herself playing the role of a minor. O’Keefe admitted that he and Rose have received criticism for using deception. “It’s a pretty complicated ethical issue,” he acknowledged, “but we believe there is a genocide and nobody cares, and you can use these tactics and it’s justified.” The pretenses used in their undercover operations are diverse and have focused on issues like the high abortion rate in the black community (50% of African-American babies are aborted), the manipulation of patients through the use of medical misinformation, and the disregard of state laws meant to protect children.
In 2007, Live Action released a collection of phone calls under the name of “The Racism Project.” The purpose of the calls was to ask Planned Parenthood representatives if they would allow donations made specifically to “reduce the number of blacks in America” as eugenicist Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, had envisioned. Every clinic worker who was recorded said that they would indeed accept donations earmarked for aborting African-American babies. Not a single Planned Parenthood representative expressed outrage at the racist request, and some even agreed with the motive. This campaign won the support of Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 2008, Live Action’s “Mona Lisa Project” videos revealed Planned Parenthood’s repeated violations of the law in which they flagrantly circumvented both parental notification requirements and mandatory reporting of statutory rape. In one example, the actress posing as a 15-year-old girl with a 31-year-old “boyfriend” is given advice on how to keep the situation secret from her parents by going out of state for an abortion, and she is told to lie about her boyfriend’s age. “The Mona Lisa Project” vividly illustrates how Planned Parenthood’s “abortion-first” mentality leads its clinics to disregard state law, instead sending young girls back into the arms of their abusers.
In 2009, the Live Action team conducted a multi-state investigation called the “Rosa Acuna Project.” The Rosa Acuna Project documents Planned Parenthood staff repeatedly giving inaccurate medical information. A series of hidden camera videos shot in clinics across the country show counselors and abortion doctors using unscientific and fabricated information to convince women to choose abortions. The American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics states: “The physician’s obligation is to present the medical facts accurately to the patient.” Anything less demands the immediate revocation of medical license and full prosecution under the “informed consent” statutes that exist in nearly every state.
Live Action’s investigations have prompted officials in several states to take action against Planned Parenthood clinics. And yet despite a consistent pattern of lawlessness and abuse, Planned Parenthood receives over $360 million from taxpayers each year. “Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks state and federal laws and covers up the abuse of the young girls it claims to serve,” Rose asserts. “They don’t deserve a dime of the hundreds of millions they receive in federal funding from taxpayers. Congress must cease funding and the Department of Justice should investigate this corrupt organization immediately.”
Rose was personally awarded $50,000 in the 2008 Life Prizes sponsored by the Gerard Health Foundation, a pro-life charity. In a press release announcing the award, Rose was cited for “her creativity in using the media to document Planned Parenthood’s abuses [which] has educated and mobilized youth across the country and gained the attention of the national media.” Cathy Ruse, Executive Director of Life Prizes, said that Rose “is the perfect example of why veterans in the pro-life movement should have great hope in the future. She has brought a boldness, creativity, and passion to the pro-life cause that is causing the country to take notice. We look forward to all that is to come from this brilliant young woman.”
The pro-life non-profit Susan B. Anthony List named Rose a “Young Leader” in 2009. “There is this stereotype of who we pro-life leaders are, and for the most part it would be white middle-aged religious men trying to impose their will on women,” said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition. “So now with Lila, you bring this young, fresh college student that completely blows any stereotypes away. No one is going to accuse Lila of being mean, vindictive, and harsh.”
Rose has been featured on The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity’s America, The Glenn Beck Show, EWTN, and The Laura Ingraham Show. She was also featured in the 2010 CNN documentary “Right on the Edge,” which spotlighted young conservative activists. Numerous newspapers and blogs have also covered her work, including feature pieces by Reuters, the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, and National Review. The Associated Press and UPI frequently publish stories about Live Action, and Lila speaks at national and international pro-life events. Rose has taken her pro-life message to Ireland, Mexico and Canada, sharing her experiences with people of all ages and from all walks of life.
On February 16, 2011, Live Action announced the addition of Abby Johnson to the Live Action team as Chief Research Strategist. Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director, brings insider knowledge of corruption within that organization. She resigned in October 2009 after personally witnessing a 13-week old baby in an ultrasound-guided abortion lose its fight for life in the womb. Now a pro-life advocate, Johnson confirms that the incidents revealed by Live Action’s undercover investigations are not isolated events. She asserts, “I can tell you from experience that…what you see in Live Action’s videos is not a rare occurrence….This is not a training problem so much as it is an ideology problem.”
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. The tax-exempt “nonprofit” earns over $100 million in net income directly from performing abortions. While the organization claims that abortion is only a small part of the services it provides, Planned Parenthood continues to increase the number of abortions performed. In 2009, Planned Parenthood was responsible for 332,278 abortions and only 977 adoption referrals – a 59 percent decline from 2,405 adoption referrals in 2008. At the same time, Planned Parenthood provided prenatal care to only 7,021 women.
Lila says, “Planned Parenthood has poured millions of dollars (many of them taxpayer dollars) into carefully crafting a positive public image. They like to brand themselves as the “trusted provider of women’s health care.” But Planned Parenthood’s real agenda is emerging: in its daily operations, the organization is rigidly pro-abortion and pro-abuser, enabling the victimization of young girls by partnering with their abusers.” Rose quotes Nobel Peace Prize-winner Mother Teresa: “‘There is no greater destroyer of peace than abortion’ – and no greater violence.”
Follow Lila Rose on Twitter: http://twitter.com/lilagracerose
Follow Lila Rose on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/liveaction
Learn more about Live Action, watch video clips, and find out how you can get involved at http://liveaction.org