Have you ever wanted to help a movement, but felt too insignificant to try? Maybe over the past few weeks, you have watched with growing concern as the abortion debate rages across the United States - and perhaps you are afraid that your voice will be shouted down as cruel, heartless, or without understanding.
There is certainly a cost that comes with standing up for what you believe - even something as simple as speaking truthfully on social media. Lila Grace Rose understands this, risking substantial backlash and her reputation to pursue what she knows is right.
Taking Risks to Find the Truth
A young girl sits in the backseat of a car, her hair dyed blonde and her face contorted in a wary, sullen pout. “Are you going to the clinic today?” someone in the background asks her, but she refuses to answer. When she arrives at Planned Parenthood, she tells the workers that she is thirteen years old, that she has a thirty-one-year-old boyfriend - and that she needs an abortion. And as Planned Parenthood employees push her towards secrecy, lies, and abortion, the girl captures the entirety of the scene on tape.
That girl was Lila Rose, a college freshman doing undercover advocacy work at a Planned Parenthood facility in 2008. Eleven years later, this founder of Live Action has created the largest online platform for the pro-life movement in the entire world.
“In the picture on the left, I was still a college student and had bleached my hair blonde for an undercover investigation,” Lila captioned the above Instagram.
“ I had just finished a 3-week long trip investigating abortion facilities across the country,” Rose continues, “No one knew where I was (including my parents!) except a few members of my team. I had no idea what impact that those investigative videos would have (and all the ones to come), or all the work and toil ahead of me as Live Action grew. It’s been an incredible gift to be a part of this work, but also one that is daily heartbreaking. But what is a heart if not broken for what matters...”
Lila’s viral undercover footage from that day and from many more investigative operatives shed light on how the government-funded organization places abortion quotas (and profits), above all else, and largely turns away women seeking alternatives to abortion.
Who is Lila Rose?
Lila Rose is the 30-year-old founder of Live Action, the largest pro-life organization in the world dedicated to fighting injustice committed against pregnant women and the unborn, where she uses the power of social media to comment on every new piece of abortion legislation. Lila lives with her husband in Southern California and is pregnant with their first child.
Q. What prompted you to go undercover the first time?
A. “I was a freshman in college, and I was very motivated to do reporting because there was virtually no reporting on the abortion industry at the time. YouTube and Facebook just entered the scene, and I felt strongly that there had to be a way to use these platforms... This propelled me forward despite some of the normal anxiety you might expect!
Q: Were you afraid?
A: Going undercover can be nerve-wracking, but it also helped me to understand the persona and anxiety of the young women that helped me do justice to what these women were experiencing. Before social media, there was really no reporting on the abortion industry, so I wanted to use those platforms to become social media reporters instead of getting blocked by these traditional gatekeepers.”
Lila’s work began during the dawn of social media; platforms were suddenly available to pro-life activists that could spread news much more quickly than anyone was used to. These platforms could also reach young people in ways no one had yet experienced. Live Action’s ability to capture Planned Parenthood’s blunders on camera has caused thousands around the world to reconsider their stances on abortion and enabled thousands of average citizens to spread the word as well.
Live Action’s ability to capture Planned Parenthood’s blunders on camera has caused thousands around the world to reconsider their stances on abortion.
Q. Based on your experiences, what would you say is #1 on Planned Parenthood's agenda?
A: Their priority is providing abortions. Their focus is not on women’s healthcare. It’s on promoting the abortion agenda. Abortion quotas are celebrated, and management is directed, "You better meet your quota!" This is not helpful to women.
Lila explains that Live Action’s work has shown that Planned Parenthood actually turns away women who need help with real reproductive healthcare - such as prenatal care and giving birth. PP puts its own corporate agenda over the needs of the women - many of whom are desperate - who come to them for help.
In 2017, Live Action released videos showing Planned Parenthood representatives turning away women who decided not to have abortions and wanted help with adoptions. Out of the 328,348 abortions performed in 2015, Planned Parenthood only offered 9,419 prenatal services and 2,889 adoption referrals. And for every one baby referred for adoption in 2015, Planned Parenthood aborted almost 114 children.
Q. Do you think the #METOO movement has impacted the pro-life movement for better or for worse?
A: Listen, I’ve been reporting on sexual abuse cover-up for years. They (Planned Parenthood) have been caught in the aiding and abetting of sex trafficking of underage girls 17 different times! Many of the actors who claim to care about the #METOO movement are supporters of Planned Parenthood. I question the sincerity of some of those who have been shouting #METOO… when I think of these little girls who have been hurt for years by Planned Parenthood.
The root of our problem is the disrespect for women and the way we treat sex. Yes, the response should be accountability, calling out abusers - that’s essential. But it’s about all of us as a culture. Consent is not enough. If we reduce sexual encounters to ‘did they consent or not’ we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to others.
If we reduce sexual encounters to ‘did they consent or not’ we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to others.
Q. How can young women motivate themselves to take action and step forward to change things they know are wrong?
A: Start small. Do something - anything - that seems scary or difficult. The best way to move forward is to do that next small thing! One small act of courage will prepare you for the next. Don’t let yourself be paralyzed or overwhelmed… Find a friend that shares your faith and your values, and use that relationship as a springboard. Share your struggles with them.
Find your tribe, make time for those relationships and friendships. It might be dangerous if we have friends we know are not aligned with our values! We need to find people we can be completely ourselves with to share our views, to grow as a person and share what you have to offer with the world.
Lila was thirty years old when married the love of her life. She was and still is one of the most influential women in the pro-life movement. Throughout her twenties, she continued to work hard at her mission, but she always remained open to marriage. She was determined not to settle for someone that did not align with her beliefs.
Q. How would you say your husband and early marriage impact your career?
I dated a lot, I kept my eyes open to see who is out there. I focused on service and contribution, developing my work and Live Action. Perfectionism in dating can be a problem, but I think a bigger problem can be settling when we start to compromise our values and our beliefs. Meeting men in line with your values is totally worth the wait.
Perfectionism in dating can be a problem, but I think a bigger problem can be settling when we start to compromise our values and our beliefs. Meeting men in line with your values is totally worth the wait.
My message to young women would be: don’t settle! He’s out there. Work on being the best you can be in your education, your work, and your family. Become the best person you can be, lean in hard to your family and friendships first and your work and contribution to the world second.