Lila Rose is concerned about the right to life. At 15, she began Live Action Films, a student-led media movement that hopes to educate and engage the culture about the truth of abortion.
Now 20, the UCLA junior has gained some notoriety for hidden-camera investigations, which she alleges expose the racist and statutory rape cover-up practices of Planned Parenthood in a number of states.
Rose is one of six recipients of the inaugural Life Prizes award — established by the Gerard Health Foundation earlier this year to recognize pro-life heroes who have succeeded in awakening America’s conscience — and will be honored with a $50,000 prize on Friday, Jan. 23, at a ceremony in Washington D.C. (see related story, page B1).
She spoke recently with Register correspondent Eddie O’Neill.
Tell me about Live Action Films. What is its mission and goal?
I founded Live Action when I was 15 years old and serve as the president now. We are a group of college students across the nation who want to conduct original research that can be used to produce powerful new media. We seek to be a new media movement for life, to professionally and powerfully communicate the truth about abortion and all its abuses to the public.
Tell me about the project exposing Planned Parenthood. What inspired it?
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider and an aggressive political force for abortion on demand.
You have alleged that “In their active killing of defenseless children, they routinely break state laws and manipulate and misinform women.”
Abortion works in secret; once people learn how it is done, who it is killing, and all the abuses that accompany it, I believe the majority of Americans can no longer stand by and allow the great injustice and violence to continue in our great nation.
In your latest hidden-camera investigations, you posed as a pregnant 13-year-old girl with a 31-year-old boyfriend. How did Planned Parenthood respond?
My goal, and the goal of those who investigate with me, is to authentically create a situation similar to those Planned Parenthood faces day in, day out and record how they respond. This could mean a 13-year-old girl impregnated by a much older man or 17-year-old girl asking for medically accurate information on abortion.
My picture is on the wall of many Planned Parenthoods, so for our latest project, I had to bleach my hair blonde in order to avoid being recognized. It was painful to see that the clinic nurses cared so little when I came to them as a very young girl with an adult sex partner.
You have alleged that “They acted as though the only problem was that I was pregnant. They had no concern for the abuse. The sexual abuse of a young girl meant little or nothing to them as counselors consistently appeared to think all sex that does not result in children is acceptable. Pregnancy was always the enemy.”
I am also deeply grieved each time I visit a clinic to see women in the waiting room in line for abortion. When I look at these precious women, I realize I am looking at two lives, and not one, and that one of these lives will soon be violently destroyed by abortion.
Last fall, you posted these investigative videos on YouTube before they were blocked by YouTube. What was the reaction of Planned Parenthood to these shocking videos?
Each time we have conducted an investigative project, Planned Parenthood has initially responded aggressively with carefully worded statements targeting our “tactics” and our “anti-choice agenda.” They have avoided the true and pressing problems that our work revealed. To respond to the negative press, however, even after their typical initial attack on the whistle-blower, Planned Parenthood either apologized publicly, claimed to initiate an internal review or reform, and suspend or fire employees.
In the past, they have threatened to sue me personally as a college freshman for investigations I did in Los Angeles. They sent me a “cease-and-desist” letter asking me to take down our YouTube videos I did of their lawlessness. Planned Parenthood seeks to convince the public that they can use abortion to fix the problem of sexual abuse. They appear as though they will self-regulate to change their lawless actions.
Why haven’t these malpractices of Planned Parenthood gained more attention in the mainstream media?
Planned Parenthood has a very powerful and well-funded public relations office. They have many advocacy groups that work with them to cloak their unjust and violent abortion-first mentality in the guise of compassion and care. I think we are making good headway, though. A little bit of truth goes a long way in reaching hearts and minds.
What was your reaction when you learned that you had been selected a winner of Life Prizes?
I was very surprised to be told I had been selected, as I know so many great people that fight tirelessly for life besides me. I was also deeply honored by the award and thankful — and hopeful that this Life Prizes program will inspire people across the country to fight to defend the most innocent and end abortion.
Are you Catholic?
Almost. I am one of eight children and was raised Protestant. I grew up loving the Catholic Church but was not really sure why. We had books on the Church Fathers in our house. I loved icons. It was only later, when I dug deeper, that I realized the big picture of the faith.
I will be confirmed into the Catholic Church around Easter of this year.
How does your faith inspire your pro-life work?
Even if I had no faith, I would still say that abortion is one of the greatest injustices of our times. It goes against the natural law. My Christian faith only emboldens me to go deeper in exposing the truth and evil of abortion. Right now, I am working on being an activist and an apostle.
Next year you will graduate from UCLA. What is in the future for Lila Rose?
I have dedicated my life to ending abortion. It is the prayer of my heart that I obediently go wherever I am called, to be a servant to “the least of these.” I currently plan to continue new media educational work and will strive to work in the most effective way to creatively tell the truth about abortion with faithfulness and grace to my peers and the public.
Eddie O’Neill writes from
Green Bay, Wisconsin.