Pro-life new media journalist to speak at Rose Dinner
On Jan. 25, 2010, pro-life activist Lila Rose gave a rousing speech to the San Francisco Walk for Life, which drew a crowd of 35,000 participants. “Let us be the ones who with grace, who with humility and who with joy stand up and say enough is enough. We will see every person in America protected by law, by love, protected by choices. Even the smallest in our country will be protected,” she said.
Now a 20-year-old student at the University of California, Lila Rose’s pro-life activism started at 15, when she founded the youth-led organization Live Action. Live Action uses “new media” and investigative journalism to “educate the public about the humanity of the unborn” and “expose threats against the vulnerable and defenceless.” In 2006, during her first year of university, she founded The Advocate, a pro-life magazine now delivered to schools across the United States. The first issue, published in 2007, described the findings of Rose’s first undercover investigation into the UCLA Arthur Ashe Health Centre’s support for student abortions.
In 2007, Rose conducted her first investigation into Planned Parenthood. She went undercover with a hidden video camera posing as a 15-year-old impregnated by her 23-year-old boyfriend. Although California law requires that cases of sexual abuse be reported when the victim is less than 16, the staff at Planned Parenthood did not report the incident and urged her to lie about her age. Since then, Rose has conducted several investigations into Planned Parenthood’s cover-ups of sexual abuse and failures to report cases of statutory rape.
Her investigations have led to concrete results. In June 2009, Tennessee lawmakers passed a statute that would give priority to community clinics over Planned Parenthood in regards to Title X family planning funds. The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to suspend a $300,000 Planned Parenthood contract for sex education. Even though this was eventually put back into place, it will be harder for clinics to apply for this contract in the future.
“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 Defence Coalition in an article in the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
In 2008, Rose was awarded the inaugural Life Prize by the Gerard Health Foundation for “Her brave work … reveal(ing) the new evidence necessary to build strong cases against the abortion industry and 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.”
She was also given the 2008 Person of the Year Malachi Award by Operation Rescue, a pro-life Christian organization in America. She has made appearances on the Laura Ingraham Show, the O’Reilly Factor, the Glenn Beck Show and Hannity’s America. Rose will be speaking at the Rose Dinner during the National March for Life in Ottawa this year.
“We can see that what we are doing … this is the truth. We’re not making stories up about Planned Parenthood … they are deceiving people and not admitting it,” said Wanda Hartlin, secretary of the National March for Life Committee, to The Interim when explaining why Rose was chosen as speaker. “She’s a good motivator. She is courageous enough to follow through with what she believed in.”