Spirit of Carmel Interviews Lila Rose
Lila Rose, the gutsy, young president of Live Action, exposes abuses in the abortion industry. She was the featured speaker at the Right to Life League of Southern California’s annual Benefit Dinner & Gala October 13, 2011 at the Center at Cathedral Plaza in Los Angeles, California. Spirit of Carmel interviewed Lila about her astounding ministry on behalf of the unborn.
Spirit of Carmel: Lila, your keynote talk at the Benefit Dinner was simply amazing. We appreciate this time with you and learning about the inner motivation which spurs you on in this dangerous ministry surrounded by intrigue and unknowns. How did the idea first come to you?
Lila: Because I was homeschooled, and my parents were passionate book lovers, our home was full of books of all kinds. It was my goal, at the age of nine, to read all of them. On the bottom shelf of a bookcase, I found something called the Handbook on Abortion by Dr. and Mrs. J.C. Willke. Curious, I opened it. And there they were – pictures. In shock, I quickly shut the book and pushed it away. Then I opened it slowly and looked again. I was looking directly at the picture of
a tiny child, maybe ten weeks old, with tiny arms and legs, who had been the victim of an abortion. Right then I knew it was ugly and wrong. Over the next decade, I grew in my understanding of the gravity and urgency of this holocaust of unborn children, and of our duty to protect them, and of my desire to help.
Spirit of Carmel: Do you remember any decisive moment when you took the first steps that led you to begin Live Action.
Lila: When I was thirteen I wrote in my journal, “God, it’s time I actually do something about abortion.” When I was fourteen, I began planning a “Pro-Life Club.” Within months it became Live Action. It began in my parents’ living room, with a meeting of about a dozen of my closest friends, all whom I had convinced to come.
Spirit of Carmel: Here you are, only a few years later, leading undercover investigations of the abortion industry, founding a pro-life nonprofit, editing a national pro-life magazine, and serving as a spokesperson for the pro-life cause. Fill us in on how that happened.
Lila: Our idea—to investigate the abortion industry at the ground level—wasn’t new. In 2002 Mark Crutcher, of the pro-life group Life Dynamics, ran a study that surveyed over eight hundred Planned Parenthood clinics and National Abortion Federation affiliates. An actor posing as a thirteen-year-old girl impregnated by a much older man—a rapist—called the facilities. As
Life Dynamics recorded these conversations, the group found that over 90 percent of the clinics promised to cover up the rape the girl had suffered and to provide her with an illegal abortion—a plan and procedure unreported to either police or parents. For reasons difficult for most people to fathom, the abortionists took it on themselves to perpetuate the vicious cycle of sexual abuse.
We wanted to find our own way to expose this corruption and bloodshed. Months after our first investigation of the UCLA health center, we went undercover to two Los Angeles Planned Parenthood clinics.
Spirit of Carmel: How did going undercover affect you, with no training and the possibility of being found out and the consequences of that?
Lila: Abortion slaughters real babies. That affects me. Statistics reveal that in less than four decades, America has permitted the slaughter of more than 50 million tiny children. There has never been another slaughter as unjust and widespread as abortion because there has never been a human society which destroyed so many of its young.
Spirit of Carmel: Please explain for us what Live Action is and what Live Action does. What is the role of Live Action in the Pro-Life arena?
Lila: I’ll give you a true scenario. I posed as a young, scared, pregnant girl, fifteen years old – the victim of a twenty-three-year-old statutory rapist. The Planned Parenthood staff told me, into our hidden cameras: “Figure out a birth date that works.” This means that they were telling me to lie about my age on the clinic paperwork, and to say I was older than I was.
Spirit of Carmel: Hidden camera?
Lila: Yes, I went in to the clinic with a hidden camera. We went into several Planned Parenthood clinics over the next few years. The YouTube videos we made of our tapes went viral. Planned Parenthood threatened to sue me—an eighteen-year-old college freshman.
I remember returning to my dorm room to find a personal email from the California director of Planned Parenthood, informing me that if I did not “relinquish the tapes” of my investigation to the organization, it would sue me for privacy violations of its employees. With less than $200 in my bank account, threats to sue me for “$5,000 for each offense” might have seemed daunting if I had not had a deep sense that God, as he always does, would use this only for good.
Spirit of Carmel: You were still in college and doing this? When and how did you find the time?
Lila: Yes, I was still in college. My summer vacations turned into summer research projects—undercover investigations into abortion clinics across the country. I began to dream of a multi-state inquiry to investigate child sexual abuse cover-up. Once the investigation was completed, a series of video releases, on the local level, to stir up controversy in each city or community as the overall national story built. With help from two close friends and my always-supportive parents, I prepared a budget and a project plan.
Miraculously, all the needs for the project were met. We scheduled it for the summer of 2008, one week after my school got out, and began to assemble the team. We were about to begin my most ambitious investigation—a probe deep inside the closed doors of Planned Parenthood called the Mona Lisa Project. I was nineteen years old, leading a team of other young people to travel nationwide in twenty-one days and go undercover into clinics posing as sex-abuse victims. I began each morning and ended each night in a hotel room, on my knees in prayer. There were so many unknowns and variables on this project. The video of what happened is on our Web site www.liveaction.org.
Spirit of Carmel: At the dinner, you spoke also about the Rosa Acuna Project. What was that?
Lila: A year after the Mona Lisa Project finished, I began another multi-state traveling investigation called the Rosa Acuna Project. From 2009 to 2010 our team has been inside dozens of clinics in many states. I have sat through counseling sessions, seen women with blood on their clothes, and heard the harsh words of abortion workers who cannot help but taste the evil of their work. “I don’t want to go work in the OR room,” one of them said to our undercover actors; “I don’t like getting too close.”
I have become an expert on what everyday abortion workers say to women, because I’ve heard it firsthand and have trained and briefed investigators who go in and collect the evidence firsthand. In clinics nationwide, Planned Parenthood employees have said the heartbeat starts at eleven weeks, at twenty weeks, or when the baby is born. They have said that hands and feet don’t form until right before the baby is born. They call the unborn child’s heart just an electrical flicker, and they call the unborn child fetal matter,
an alien, a tadpole, a cup of coleslaw—any number of dehumanizing names. The Rosa Acuna Project has documented these lies in a series of public video releases. It is also available on our Web site.
Spirit of Carmel: How did you come up with the names for your projects?
Lila: We named the Rosa Acuna Project for a young New Jersey woman who sought an abortion. She was deeply troubled about her decision and spoke to the doctor. When she asked the doctor if she would be killing a baby, the abortionist told Rosa “It’s a blood clot. It’s a bunch of cells.” He performed the abortion. Back at home, bleeding profusely, Rosa went to the emergency room. The nurse told her she had the remains of her baby inside her and would need an operation to extract it from her uterus. That’s when Rosa realized her first trimester “pregnancy matter” was not a blood clot or a bunch of cells. It was a human baby.
From Lila Rose to Spirit of Carmel Readers: We who know better must proclaim that the value of our unborn brothers and sisters is not based on what they give to society. It is based solely on the mysterious worth of their humanity, that mysterious imprint of the divine. To be human is enough. To be human should grant you a place of love and dignity in any family, any society, any nation.
America’s public schools are either neutral or favorable toward abortion. The entertainment media are the same. Traditional news media fail to grasp the reality of abortion and often take positions leaning toward it. Young people live with a stifling din of pro-abortion instruction; we are urged to be morally transgressive and politically conformed to the culture of death. A word of truth, an image, a video comes like a fresh breeze.
Live Action’s mission is to educate the public with the truth about abortion and the dignity of the human person by using the power of creative new media. All of Live Action’s projects are designed to work within traditional systems to reach young people with the truth and inspire them to join us in leading the pro-life
Most people do not see clearly the evils of their own century, their own age. It is the history makers, the revolutionaries, and the visionaries who identify the failings, injustices, and opportunities of their century and work tirelessly to address them. Thanks to the revolution in media through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, webcams, and cell phones, everyone can create and distribute media. Like many other organizations, Live Action is seizing this opportunity to talk past the pro- abortion gatekeepers of previous decades and show the world the truth about abortion. Today, I aspire to do my part. I pray that many more, young and old, will join.
Now that I have graduated from college, I am grateful for the experiences I have been blessed with so far. I am moving forward with a wonderful team of talented and committed young people to continue our projects and undertake new and more ambitious ones. The investigative and educational work is far from over. Thousands more people must realize the gravity and urgency of abortion’s injustice, must reject the murder of our unborn brothers and sisters, must repent of the indifference and hopelessness that allows this, and must recommit to a beautiful and life-giving vision of our life together in America. These thousands must be awakened to the truth so they can inspire and lead more thousands to reject abortion, stop the killing, and restore peace. I believe with my whole heart we will be victorious, just as I pray and believe in the Kingdom of God and that we can do God’s will on earth. We have a perfect loving God who inspires and authors our work. If we lay down our lives, we cannot fail. ———————————————————————– Lila Rose, a recent UCLA graduate, has dedicated herself to building
a culture of life and ending abortion. At age fifteen, Lila founded Live Action, a growing nonprofit organization.