Sat 25th Oct 2014 | Last updated: Fri 24th Oct 2014 at 18:39pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Features

The new face of the pro-life cause

Mary O’Regan talks to Lila Rose, the woman taking on Planned Parenthood

By on Thursday, 10 February 2011

Lila Rose: ‘It’s our job to be strong and sincere, kind but unwavering in our defence of the truth’

Lila Rose: ‘It’s our job to be strong and sincere, kind but unwavering in our defence of the truth’

Lila Rose is the 22-year-old founder of Live Action, an organisation that collects intelligence on America’s leading abortion provider and brings it to the world’s attention through the new media. Last week she generated global headlines when she released undercover video footage of staff at Planned Parenthood giving advice to a man posing as a pimp seeking abortions for under-age prostitutes.

Lila is from San Jose, California, and recently graduated from UCLA with a degree in history. She has Italian, Irish and English blood and was brought up as one of eight children in an Evangelical household. She was received into the Catholic Church two years ago. In an interview this week she tells me that she was drawn to the Catholic Church because she “hungered to receive Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist”.

Since starting Live Action at 15 Lila has been a revolutionary pro-life campaigner. To begin with, she went into various abortion clinics posing as a young teen with a story about a 31-year-old boyfriend who had got her pregnant. She used police camera equipment to film clinic workers explaining how she could hide the abortion from her parents, as long as she got someone else with the same surname to sign the papers. They were eager to ensure that the father of the baby would not face the consequences.

With her beautiful heart-shaped face and lustrous black hair Lila could be a contestant on America’s Next Top Model, but she is also someone of incredible savvy. James O’Keefe, the young conservative media activist who has collaborated with Lila in her exposés, says: “What Lila has been able to do is frame the issue of abortion through the lens of social issues that both liberals and conservatives can agree on. Everyone can agree that it’s wrong to help pimps out and to cover up statutory rape.”

Commenting on the impact of her shocking undercover films, Lila says: “People who were supportive of Planned Parenthood have become disgusted.”

But she emphasises that “this project is only half way through” and that Live Action hopes to release other films this year which give an inside view of what goes on in American’s abortion clinics.

Live Action’s work has caused several states to launch investigations into Planned Parenthood. The organisation is clearly rattled. Last week the billionaire George Soros reportedly held a conference call with Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, about how to counter the videos. On Monday the group said it would retrain thousands of members of staff regarding its rules for reporting possible dangers to minors and would sack anyone who violated them.

But Lila says that the testimonies of women who have had abortions corroborate what she has found through her undercover investigations. She told the New York Times this week that the changes announced by Planned Parenthood were “window dressing”.

“Live Action’s investigation has uncovered a serious, institutional crisis in which Planned Parenthood is willing to aid and abet sex trafficking and exploitation of minors and young women,” she said. Lila’s work has even more credibility in the wake of the testimony of Abby Johnson. She was a director at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas and has criticised her former role there as one of the “salespeople” for abortion. She has said that Planned Parenthood should be grateful to Live Action for bringing the deeds of its staff to the public’s attention.

Activists in Britain are naturally considering whether Live Action’s tactics would further the pro-life cause here. If abortion clinics in our country were caught out would it cause pregnant women to lose all trust in abortion providers and prevent abortions?
Mark Bhagwandin, an education officer with Life Pregnancy Care, thinks it might be effective.

“We must expose the clinics in Britain as acting in a commercial interest, not in the interests of women,” he says.

He argues that this is the “missing component” of pro-life work in Britain. But he explains that it has to work in tandem with proper pro-life help for pregnant mothers.

“A lot of women going for abortions are in a personal crisis,” he says. “If they are offered practical alternatives then they may keep their baby. We have found women in crisis pregnancies who really need to confide in someone and are considering abortion but have changed their minds after a chance of being able to come to terms with their pregnancy.”

Would videos exposing the clinics help some women out of the vicious cycle of repeat abortions? Many women of all ages who have had abortions have spoken to Lila and told her that the videos showed them “the truth”, that they helped them to find healing and that they are now pro-life.  

Live Action’s work is being warmly welcomed by the gigantic pro-life population in America. But could a British Lila Rose count on such support here?

David Quinn, a seasoned pro-life commentator and director of the Iona Institute, says: “There are sections of the media that would not like pro-life stings one bit, and they may react by saying undercover journalism is unethical. But you can’t allow the possibility of a backlash from the pro-choicers to veto your actions.”

Mark Bhagwandin argues that “investigative journalism that exposes the abuses in abortion clinics will go down well with the British people”.

“The British love the truth,” he says. “They respect any operation that exposes the truth.”
Last year he and his colleagues at Life presented the the pro-life message to 35,000 school students. He says he encountered a very positive reaction from young people.
Lila Rose strives to make known the “abortion-first mentality” of clinics. Is there
any evidence of an abortion-only attitude from abortion providers here? I decided to find out. I rang one of Britain’s abortion providers posing as someone who was 23 weeks pregnant. I told them that I needed “help”. I never said that I wanted an abortion. The only “help” they would give me was a speedy abortion.

“That’s what we do,” one worker told me curtly. “We arrange terminations.” So much for “choice”.

I rang another British abortion provider and told them several times that someone was pressurising me into an abortion and that I didn’t want an abortion. They increased my anxiety by saying that I didn’t have much time left and would have to arrange it “soon”. I asked what other options of help they offered besides abortion. I was passed to a smooth-talking adviser who told me the price of the “treatment” and told me that I had less than a week to arrange it.

How many mothers would keep their baby if they were given real choice? Lila says she would not like to recommend any particular project for Britain. She openly admits that she does not know enough about our legal and political climate. But when I tell her about how I had been treated when I posed as a woman who was 23 weeks pregnant, she suggests an interesting plan.

“Consider that many women are at this moment going for that ‘counselling’ in British clinics, and they are not being told about the risks, or what abortion will do to their child,” she tells me. “If you were to get footage of inside the clinic of the kind of things that are said during this ‘counselling session’, then you could compare this with the actual statistics and facts of what happens during and after an abortion.”

If we go around pretending to be pregnant women in difficulty, will the public think of pro-lifers as attention-seeking performers? Lila Rose has taken that chance. But she insists that the risk is worthwhile.

“Public opinion of pro-lifers comes and goes,” she says. “But it’s our job as pro-lifers to be strong and sincere, kind but unwavering in our defence of the truth. When you educate young people you will see a cultural shift.”

  • Judy0597

    Change CAN happen – one person at a time

  • John

    God bless Lila Rose and the Pro-Life movement in general. Human rights will prevail in the 21st century! We must all be active!

    We shall overcome!

  • Fire

    There is only one rule with regards to abortion and that is “Thou shall not kill”.
    There is only one rule with regards to Lila Rose`s project and that is “Thou shall not lie”.

    No exceptions.

  • Jgirl

    Another group that has had a HUGE impact is David Bereit’s “40 Days for Life.” People volunteer to take shifts to pray 24 hours outside specified abortion clinics. They do not yell, are not ugly, do not hold up pictures of aborted babies. They learn the names of the clinic workers, are polite and wish them well when the clinic workers drive up for work. They do call out to offer help and alternatives for patients–and workers.

    This is partially what won Abby Johnson over. The other tactics did not. It was clearly Jesus, hanging on the cross, looking down lovingly at His murderers. Abortion is a matter of the heart. I’m reading Johnson’s book, “Unplanned” and it is amazing. This group is shutting down clinics–through love and prayer! Also, we have alternative clinics like BirthChoice that offers pro-life help to women.

    It’s interesting b/c PP can’t get people to sign on and donate like the pro-life organizations can. The tide is turning.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, once you start preaching this to undercover police sting operations which end up saving lives, I’ll take your “telephone tough guy” persona to heart.

    Capice?

  • Charityintruth

    Wonderful work Lila Rose. I am going to the LiveAction web site to donate now !!!!

  • Colin Maddison

    A woman arguing against the right of a woman to decide what to do with her own body. I find it disgusting. Yet I suppose that is what religion does to people.

  • SS1

    Actually, she’s arguing against the “right” of someone to decide what to do with someone else’s body, i.e. the unborn human being. His/her right to life must be protected and vindicated.

  • Colin Maddison

    It is the right of a woman, at all times, to do with her body what she wants. The organisation that she has tried to slander by false reporting and false editing of film taken by hidden cameras is an organisation that offers impartial advice. The ultimate decision is always the womans, and the woman and her decision should be respected.

  • Colin Maddison

    I have no issue with people attempting to change minds through non-violent discussion. If a woman changes her mind from abortion to non-abortion or vice versa, that is fine. However, your last point about people not volunteering to sign-on and donate to pro-choice organisations ….. I would think the fear of a petrol bomb or being shot is uppermost in peoples thoughts as to why they do not.

  • Colin Maddison

    I have no issue with people attempting to change minds through non-violent discussion. If a woman changes her mind from abortion to non-abortion or vice versa, that is fine. However, your last point about people not volunteering to sign-on and donate to pro-choice organisations ….. I would think the fear of a petrol bomb or being shot is uppermost in peoples thoughts as to why they do not.

  • Jgirl

    People can donate anonymously, Colin, and they do.

    BTW, love how the media takes any violent act by a “pro-lifer” (big lie anyone who commits murder is not pro-life) and makes it national news. After the Gosnell story a couple weeks ago (this man and his clinc workers murdered delivered babies and was responsible for women dying in his filthy clinic), I saw two more stories that were similar–in local papers; they did not make national news.

    Abby Johnson received death threats when she was the director of PP–and again when she joined Beriet’s Coalition for Life. Both sides have crazies on them who are dangerous. It’s terrible.

  • Jgirl

    This has little to do with the pro-life/pro-choice debate.

    Go look at the unedited vidoes on Live Actions website. I understand that a person may be prochoice–but do you defend PP’s actions? They’ve just release their seventh (SEVENTH) video of PP staff aiding and abetting. Before this latest sting, Live Action showed how PP covered up statutory rape of minors by not reporting.

    This is NOT about abortion. If you really care about women, then you’d see this point. Raping a little girl and taking her in for abortoin so the rape can continue is NOT caring about the girl or “reproductive rights”. This is criminal.

    BTW, if a gal wants to have sex without concern for any consequences, it’s a free country. If she gets pregnant, then by law, she can abort. But for ME to pay for it is ridiculous. Planned Parenthood gets 1/3 of it’s budget from taxpayers and is the largest abortion provider in the US. Also, most of it’s money is made from abortion.

    The pro-choicers should be a little more principled when they say, “My body, my choice”, or “Don’t impose your morality on me”–when what they’re doing is imposing theirs upon me by have me and others foot thte bill.

  • Colin Maddison

    It has been proved that Live Action sent in volunteers to asked loaded questions to get the staff of PP to implicate themselves, which they failed to do, so Live Action then doctored the tapes. Fact. Its called making the news fit the facts. Their actions, if done by the police or federal agencies would have led to court action against the perpetrators because what they did is in fact called encitement.

    As for PP being paid for by tax payers. All taxpayers pay tax, and all tax payers have different agendas, for example a childless couple paying for schooling through their taxes, tax payers approving the work of PP. Thats the whole point of general taxation, you make your contribution in the knowledge that the money is spent on the whole community, not just certain sections.

    Your claim that a rape of a small child and then aborting the rapists progeny is still rape left me cold, I have to say.

  • Pb2007123

    I am pro legal abortion. However, I fundementally disagree with the term of ‘rights’ or ‘reproductive choices’ banded around as euphamisms for abortion.

    Calling abortion a right, connects it to other things we may consider a right, such as freedom of speach, right to a fair trial and so on… Rights in their nature are inalienable and in the case of abortion take any rights away from the foetus, in any case presumably, as it is a right that cannot be overturned.

    Using the term of rights leads us to forget the foetus whatsoever, and halts us from discussing at what stage its rights have some say also. The logical system of ‘abortion rights’ in my opinion is so strong that it would give women the right to abort right until birth, which I don’t agree with.

    I do however believe in equal, fair and free acess to abortion services. I just belive it is immorral not to consider the status of the foetus in discussing abortion, rather than whitewashing the issue with the term of rights

  • SS1

    Would you be so sanguine if your tax dollars or pounds were used to fund slavery or eugenics? No? Well in that case the glib answer “we all pay taxes, and they’re spent on the the different interests of the whole community” won’t wash.

    If tax revenue is used for an immoral purpose it’s an immoral tax. People have a right to object to such taxes. It’s hard to conceive of a purpose more immoral than the killing of people at the earliest and most vulnerable stage of their life – in the womb.

  • fluffyhel

    It’s my understanding that it is already illegal in the US to use money raised from tax to fund abortions. PP provide many other reproductive health services – which is where the govt funding goes. I don’t know if the statement that PP ‘makes most of its money from abortion’ is true but as the US Government will not provide funding I guess they have to find the money to provide this vital service from somewhere.

  • Jgirl

    So by your logic it’s okay for one evil to persist because another does (for those of us who believe abortion takes the life a human being). We have a right to our opinion, every bit as much as those who disagree. And we will continue to lobby and vote. :)

    Your “Fact” of Live Action is your opinion, as well. Again, go to their website to see the full, unedited tape (alone with the other videos on there).

    I’ll clarify my statement regarding rape: grown men who rape girls and take them to PP to abort their unborn baby are not reported by PP. The rapists get “rid of the problem” to hide their crim and PP helps them (by law they are supposed to report–if folks don’t like this, CHANGE THE LAW–but it is the law). The rapist is therefore enabled to continue raping these girls.

  • Jgirl

    Again, this is not a pro-life/pro-choice argument. You seem to be justifying criminal behavior. I don’t believe anyone who justifies this really cares for women or women’s rights. Abortion and PP are a chauvenist’s dream come true.

  • Auricularis

    God bless this wonderful woman – someone who is actually bothered about the rights of all parties involved

    There would be no abortions if people practised chastity as taught by the church

  • Jgirl

    It is. But Congress is introducing a bill because of all of the loopholes that allow it. I remember when the healthcare bill was passed, pro-abortion websites were instructing people how to go around the system to get it taxpaid (read it myself).

    I also know a gal. who used to volunteer at PP; they worked the system to get Medicaid to pay for them. And then there are the school girls who get them (in some states like CA)–and do this on the taxpayer’s dime–without parental knowlege. PP lobbies for this, too.

    Yes, it’s true PP makes it’s money off of abortion.
    http://liveaction.org/blog/data-36-7-of-planned-parenthoods-health-center-income-is-from-abortions/

    You can do the math and look it up from other sources.

  • LeFloch

    Golly! Beautiful, brave and sound, what an unusual combination. She should run for President.

  • Tiggles

    If you knew anything about reproduction you would know that the child in the womb may in fact be a different blood group to the mother. Therefore is not part of her body, but a seperate, all be it ,dependant entity.

  • jorge

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2009/sep/09091101

    When a pro-lifer is killed, the media does not care.

    And actually, the anti-adult violence on both sides is extremely small. How many pro-abortionists have been killed since 1973? 8?

    In a country of 300 million, in 40 years.

    The babies, however, are being killed like rats – 50 million per year, worldwide.

  • Anonymous

    An unborn child is not part of her own body. It’s a developing body that is dependant on hers but is still a body, albeit a very small and weak one, in its own right. If you actually bothered to pay any attention to pro-life arguments then you might form a rather different opinion as to what the choice actually means and what making the wrong choice can do to people.

  • Bbshort

    The World lives in Darkness. Darkness consitutues, liars, thieves, and murders. The Governments threw out the 10 Commandments, and welcomed Darwinism with Open Hands. This signifies that, the world lives in Darkness, they do not believe in God and take, life and its matters according to a ‘No God’ intellectual reasoning. However true this is, they still need prayer, that God will intervene with great graces and change people overnight from Darkness to His Glorious Light and, Live Forever in His Kingdom the New Earth that never dies nor is corrupted.

    The world today is anit-Life, they believe they will live forever. That’s what technology at this current time makes them feel and believe. They are ‘gods’ that have advanced, but only thing that has changed is the tools. They are still flesh and blood with a soul. That however has not changed.

    Satan deludes them into thinking they are walking on clouds. PRIDE makes on think they are ‘invincible’ and can do anything and live on this Earth forever. However, God controls ‘Death’ the last good thing for man. At death, you expiate a great deal. So if you don’t die, you cannot expiate. See the logic here?

    Peace be with you always

  • DBMcGinnity

    Ah! The Good Old Days!
    We need Catholic Sharia Law and strict discipline so that women will obey their husband under the pain of excommunication. The Catholic God would strongly approve of inflicting pain and torture. Women transgressors should be shamed and denigrated in Catholic stocks. Let there be stoning and flogging whilst reading lengthy passages from the New Testament. Good old days!

  • Nick

    If you had anything resembling a rational argument, you wouldn’t need
    to talk about your bizarre fantasies.

    I could be convinced by your kind of “argumentation”, but I am no longer
    13 years old.

    Avoiding rational arguments and diving into fantasy only hurts your cause.

    So, do you have any actual rational arguments, or are you just trolling?

  • DBMcGinnity

    Ah! The Good Old Days! Can you not see that it was pure irony and was a parody on the outragious proposition that Auricularis stated :There would be no abortions if people practised chastity as taught by the Church. This is what I wrote about Mandatory counselling.

    Mandatory counselling is a contradiction in terms and would be considered most unethical by all professional counselling services. The most important principle of counselling is that the clients’ seek counselling. It is typical of Nadine Dorries to misunderstand the issue, but that is what makes Nadine predictable and all the more entertaining, and lovable. Let the pro-life campaigners and other Holy Joe’s and God Squad’s keep their nose’s out of other people’s business. We were born with free will with the right to choose our own destiny.

    If a person wishes to have an abortion of their own free will after taking medical advice, let them do it. Of course there must always be strict legal and clinical ethics as with all medical procedures. It is not the business of the church to moralise and dictate the standards by which other people live. More and more, the loud mouthed, fuss pots and zealots are getting on people’s nerves with their pro-life campaign, that really has nothing to do with ‘pro-life’ but is more concerned with the suppression and oppression of women.

  • Nick

    > Ah! The Good Old Days! Can you not see that it was pure irony and was a parody
    Duh, of course it was irony. The point is that it was childish and meaningless.
    Instead of debating what the original poster said, you started talking about a non-existent
    situation (that may be vaguely similar to what happens in muslim countries, but that is also
    meaningless). A complete non-sequitur. I suggest you try reason.

    > on the outragious proposition that Auricularis stated :There would be no abortions if people practised
    > chastity as taught by the Church.
    That proposition is logically true.

    > Let the pro-life campaigners and other Holy Joe’s and God Squad’s keep their nose’s out of other
    > people’s business. We were born with free will with the right to choose our own destiny.
    But we have no right to commit certain crimes, specially murder.

    > It is not the business of the church to moralise and dictate the standards by which other people live.
    The Church is not dictating; the Church is teaching. This will only become law if enough voters and politicians are convinced.

    > More and more, the loud mouthed, fuss pots and zealots are getting on people’s nerves with their
    > pro-life campaign, that really has nothing

    This language…
    Really, how old are you? I honestly want to know.

  • DBMcGinnity

    I apologise for my flippancy, I was irritated by Auricularis’s comment. Being a parent and a grandparent I accept that every baby born is a miracle of God, and I accept that clinical abortion is spiritually criminal, even when legally carried out. Many of the people engaged in sex trafficking and the abortion business believe that women do not have souls and are in effect lesser beings. This can be shown to be true throughout history with girls being used, as courtesans, in harems, concubines, geishas, brothels and the escort agencies, and the pornography business.

    The revenue turnover in the pornography business alone is grater than the balance of payments and gross national product of countries like Ghana. The abortion business profits are greater than some countries National banks. It is a sad thing that women are, and have been complicit in their own oppression and domination since time began. My friend’s granddaughter is an “Escort Girl” with luxurious premises in a salubrious part of town. Reputedly, she earns an average £2000 per hour and has the best quality holidays, clothing, contacts. She is only twenty four years old and has had three abortions already. The Celebrity culture encourages this.

    Why should a pregnant girl have her beautiful figure disfigured with stretch marks and her career and earning capacity interfered when the problem can be resolved by clinical abortion. The point I am making is: greed controls everything. When asked about her journey from rags to riches, Mae West said: “Money brings you a better quality of misery”

    I wholeheartedly applaud what Lila Rose has done, and I support her fight to expose and stop abortion. I have no objection to her undercover journalism, but I feel certain that by now that “They” know who she is, where she lives and what she eats for breakfast. Undoubtedly, she will do some good and hopefully will bring positive change. Sadly, abortion is a ugly, lucrative and a very dangerous business to be involved in, especially for an undercover reporter. I hope someone is counselling Lila Rose about the danger.

    I am old enough to remember the back street abortion business as depicted in the film ‘Alfie’ with Michael Caine, and ‘Vera Drake’ with Imelda Staunton. It is an ugly business but it is a profitable business, where morality and integrity are not even considered. This ugly trade could be stopped more easily if politicians were not corrupt, and there is just cause to suspect that some politicians and business people give their acquiescence to the trade and that they are bribed to turn a blind eye. Such are the vagaries of human nature.

  • Nick

    > I apologise for my flippancy
    And I apologize for being rude. I was angry lately. And I am wasting far too much time on internet forums.

    > Many of the people engaged in sex trafficking and the abortion business believe that women do not
    > have souls and are in effect lesser beings. This can be shown to be true throughout history with girls
    > being used, as courtesans, in harems, concubines, geishas, brothels and the escort agencies, and
    > the pornography business.
    Yes. The world would be a much better place if feminists were duly concerned with real female problems, such as objectification in advertising, pornography, sexual assault, prostitution, sex trafficking, and the challenges of motherhood. However, today’s extremist feminists spend all their time with
    1) Spreading gender ideology. This, in case you don’t know, is the bizarre theory that women and men are completely equal (in their abilities, emotions, vocations and inclinations), and that all difference between them are artificially imposed by society. So if there are more men then women in the police force, and more women than men in nursery, that means “society is biased”, and we need the government’s heavy hand to solve this. Many extremist feminists are lesbians – they think being a lesbian liberates them from society’s artificial gender role.

    2) Championing abortion. Abortion, for extremist feminists, is unquestionably good. One reason is that a pregnancy can hamper a woman’s career, and that motherhood differentiates women from men (and therefore they think it is bad). Also, abortion is a way for feminists to say that women are powerful and “don’t allow anyone to dictate what she can do to their body”. The following picture, unbelievable as it is, is from the feminists themselves (it is a campaign of theirs): http://incogman.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/i-had-an-abortion.jpg

    > The abortion business profits are greater than some countries National banks.
    Yes, much is wrong with the pro-abortion side. As much as they say “we are pro-choice, we actually want abortion to be safe, legal and rare” many of them actually want a lot of abortion. Some reasons:
    1) Profit, as you mentioned yourself
    2) Feminist ideology, as I mentioned
    3) Population control. Planned parenthood itself says that it wants a “stable US population”. When it was proposed to cut their taxpayer funding, I saw people complaining loudly “horrible! Don’t these people see that it is cheaper to avoid a child than to take care of it?”. Have you heard of the US National Security Study Memorandum 200 of 1974? In it, the American Government explicitly plans to pressure the whole world into acceptting contraception and abortion so as to control their population. The US fears that “overpopulation” harms their interests.

    If it is hard to believe that certain politicians are so evil as to want a high number of abortions, then ask yourself

    1) Why do they oppose any and all regulations that could reduce abortion, such as mandatory ultrasound and parental notification for minors?
    2) Why don’t they help crisis pregnancy centers? And why do they actually stifle them?

  • Kimkelly

    her videos have been proven by the fbi to be doctored & heavily edited. google lila rose lies on prolife videos. what a person  to be proud of? *sarcasm^ she calls herself a creative activist like martin luther king, but he never stooped to telling lies, entrapment, violence. i’m sure some looney-tune will be inspired to become a creative activist & bomb a clinic or shoot a doctor.
     
    she had a cease & desist order forced on her by the fbi after viewing her so-called exposure of a planned parenthood clinic in CA.  to avoid harassment charges from fbi she surrendered her videos & was forbidden from harassing that clinic again. she is a terrorist. period.

  • Pingback: buffet ngon gia re