Lila Rose

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Lila Rose
Lila Rose, President of Live Action
BornLila Grace Rose
(1988-07-27) July 27, 1988 (age 26)
San Jose, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Known forPro-life activism
ReligionRoman Catholic
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Lila Rose
Lila Rose, President of Live Action
BornLila Grace Rose
(1988-07-27) July 27, 1988 (age 26)
San Jose, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Known forPro-life activism
ReligionRoman Catholic

Lila Grace Rose (born July 27, 1988)[1] is an American pro-life activist and the founder of the pro-life group Live Action. She conducts undercover investigations of abortion facilities in the United States, including affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.


Rose was raised in San Jose, California, the third of eight children.[2] She was home-schooled through the end of high school and majored in history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).[2] She was raised Protestant and converted to Catholicism.[3]

Rose founded the pro-life group Live Action when she was 15 and continued her activism at UCLA.[4] She cites Joan of Arc,[5] Mark Crutcher,[2] Jesus Christ,[5] Martin Luther King Jr.,[6] Mother Teresa,[7] and J. C. Willke as influences.[5]


At the age of 15, Rose founded Live Action and began giving presentations to schools and youth groups.[2] While at UCLA, she partnered with conservative activist James O’Keefe III, who found inspiration in activist Saul Alinsky's grassroots organizing handbook Rules for Radicals.[2] After further inspiration by Texas activist Mark Crutcher's taping of calls to Planned Parenthood locations featuring women posing as pregnant minors, Rose and O'Keefe donned hidden cameras in the fall of 2006 and recorded staffers in several Planned Parenthood facilities.[8]

Rose has investigated abortion facilities, including Planned Parenthood affiliates, NAF affiliates, and others, across the country since then. Her activism focuses on issues such as the financial aspect of the abortion industry, the moral and ethical implications of abortion itself, and the activities of Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the United States.[9][10] Her "Racism Project," highlighting the high abortion rate in the African-American community, received support from Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.[6]

Rose's investigations generally comprise investigators (including Rose herself) portraying themselves as girls or women seeking abortion for some reason – for example, a 15-year-old girl impregnated by a 23-year-old male. (In 2007, Rose released videos in which she used this particular persona to document staff at Planned Parenthood facilities advising her to lie about her age and promising to cover up her partner's age.)[11][12]

Rose has attended workshops at the conservative non-profit Leadership Institute.[6] In 2009, as an invited speaker at the Values Voters Summit, she suggested that "if I could insist, as long as they are legal in our nation, abortions would be done in the public square, until we were so sick and tired of seeing them that we would do away with the injustice altogether. Maybe then we would value the unborn child as we value the one-year-old child just learning to walk[.]"[13]

Undercover investigations[edit]

The Planned Parenthood Racism Project[edit]

In 2007, Rose, through her organization Live Action, released recordings of Planned Parenthood staff, including directors of development in Idaho and New Mexico, accepting racist donations specifically intended for abortions of African-American children.[14]

The Mona Lisa Project[edit]

Another investigation, called the Mona Lisa Project, involved Rose posing as a 13-year-old minor impregnated by a 31-year-old man. In a video recorded at a Bloomington, Indiana Planned Parenthood facility,[15] when told that she will need parental consent and must name the father, Rose balks. At first, the Planned Parenthood staffer says that the crime must be reported to Child Protective Services, but after a moment of silence, she says, "Okay, I didn't hear the age. I don't want to know the age. It could be reported as rape. And that's child abuse."

Also in the Mona Lisa Project, Rose shot an undercover video at a Planned Parenthood facility in Birmingham, Alabama[16] that resulted in the state placing the clinic on probation for a year.[17][18] This same facility shut down "temporarily" in early January 2014 and has yet to reopen.[19]

Sex trafficking[edit]

In February 2011, Rose released undercover videos from Planned Parenthood facilities in several cities. These show an unidentified man and woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute, soliciting advice from Planned Parenthood staff on how to procure abortions and birth control for underage sex workers whom the pimp "manages."[20][21] Rose said that the videos proved that Planned Parenthood intentionally breaks laws and covers up abuse.[22] In response to the videos, Planned Parenthood claimed to have reported the incidents to the FBI[23] but also stated that over 11,000 staffers "who have contact with patients and teens" would be "retrained." Planned Parenthood also claimed to have reported to the FBI at least 12 visits to its clinics by the man in the videos prior to their publication.[23][24]

No criminal charges or investigations resulted from the videos. Rose asked Ken Cuccinelli, then the attorney general of Virginia, to investigate Planned Parenthood as a result of the videos. He conceded during a Fox interview that he lacks "an actual case of it on film" – meaning a case that involves victims instead of actors pretending to run a sex-slave business. Cuccinelli went on to say, "But what you do have is clearly an open willingness of several organizations, meaning subsidiaries of Planned Parenthood nationally in the same category, sex trafficking of minors, and an open willingness to participate in this."[25]

Live Action national counsel Peter Breen said an actual case is not needed, comparing the Live Action videos to the undercover journalism in NBC's To Catch a Predator.[25] United States Attorney General Eric Holder declined to pursue charges in the matter, stating, "It is my understanding that the FBI actually has looked at that matter" and that "prosecution was declined in that matter."[26]

Sex-selective abortions[edit]

In May 2012, Rose released a series of videos showing employees at Planned Parenthood and NAF abortion centers advising patients on how to procure sex-selective abortions. The undercover investigator posed as a pregnant mother seeking an abortion on the grounds that her child was female, whereas she preferred a male.

After the first video (captured in Austin, TX)[27] was released, Planned Parenthood denied supporting sex-selective elective abortion and fired the employee featured in the tape.[28] Similar footage from Planned Parenthood locations in Maui and Honolulu, Hawaii[29] – including a counselor's advice on how to fund a sex-selective abortion with state tax money – elicited no subsequent response from the organization.

Another release showed employees at two Arizona abortion facilities – Camelback Family Planning in Phoenix and the Tucson Women's Center in Tucson – instructing the investigator to suppress her reason for seeking the abortion. After hearing that the investigator desires to abort her fetus for being female, the Phoenix counselor tells her, "Don't let it be known!," while the surgical assistant in Tucson says, "I'll just forget about it ... but just be sure not to mention it [to the abortion doctor]." Sex-selective abortion is illegal in Arizona.[30] Neither the two taped clinics nor the NAF took any action following the release.


In the Spring of 2013, Rose released a series of undercover videos documenting late-term abortion doctors' stated policy toward children born alive as the result of a failed abortion attempt.[31] The video release coincided with intense media scrutiny of the ongoing Kermit Gosnell murder trial. These include a video where Cesare Santangelo, a Washington, D.C. abortion doctor, admits that he would let a child die if born alive during an abortion:[32][33]

Technically – you know, legally we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive. But, you know, it probably wouldn't. It's all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point,' Santangelo tells the undercover activist working for the pro-life group Live Action. 'Let's say you went into labor, the membranes ruptured, and you delivered before we got to the termination part of the procedure here, you know? Then we would do things – we would – we would not help it. We wouldn't intubate. It would be, you know, uh, a person, a terminal person in the hospital, let's say, that had cancer, you know? You wouldn't do any extra procedures to help that person survive. Like 'do not resuscitate' orders. We would do the same things here.

Commentators opposing restrictions on abortion have accused Live Action of editing the Inhuman videos in a misleading manner.[34] William Saletan of Slate criticized the videos as "orchestrated to embarrass doctors and their clinics." Saletan claimed that he "went through the raw footage to see what the video editors took out."[34] Live Action includes raw footage with every video release.

On Thursday, May 23, 2013, U.S. Representative Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) showed Live Action's Arizona video from the Inhuman campaign as support for HR 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban the majority of abortions after 20 weeks' (five months') gestation throughout the United States.[35] The bill eventually passed in the House, by a vote of 228 to 196.[36] Senator Lindsey Graham is expected to bring the bill up for consideration in the Senate.[37]

Recognition and awards[edit]

Rose was featured in the 2010 CNN documentary Right on the Edge, which spotlighted young conservative activists.[38] She has appeared on many cable television news shows, including The O'Reilly Factor,[39] Hannity,,[40] The Glenn Beck Program,[41] and CNN's Crossfire.[42]

In 2008, Rose was awarded $50,000 in the annual "Life Prizes" awards, sponsored by the Gerard Health Foundation, a pro-life charity.[43] She also received the "Person of the Year Malachi Award" from Operation Rescue that same year.[8]

In 2010, she was named a "Young Leader" by the pro-life non-profit Susan B. Anthony List.[44]

In July 2013, National Journal included Rose in their list of "The 25 Most Influential Washington Women Under 35."[45]


  1. ^ Family Tree Legends Lila Grace Rose born 07/27/1988, Santa Clara County (San Jose)
  2. ^ a b c d e Abcarian, Robin (April 26, 2009), "Anti-abortion movement gets a new-media twist", The Los Angeles Times, retrieved October 1, 2013 
  3. ^ Bell, Justin (2012-02-03). "How Lila Rose Became Pro-Life … and Catholic". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  4. ^ Darling, Adelaide (January 19, 2013), "Lila Rose highlights role of faith in fighting abortion", Catholic News Agency, retrieved October 3, 2013, When Rose went to UCLA for her undergraduate degree, she took Live Action with her. 
  5. ^ a b c Lila Rose Becomes Catholic
  6. ^ a b c Jonsson, Patrik (2011-02-04), For Lila Rose, Planned Parenthood video 'sting' is about revolution, Christian Science Monitor, retrieved 2011-02-06 
  7. ^ Lopez, Kathryn Jean (February 18, 2011), "Lila Rose among Deadly Thorns", National Review Online, retrieved June 22, 2011 
  8. ^ a b Berkowitz, Bill (June 8, 2011), "Planned Parenthood 'Stung' By Lila Rose", Religion Dispatches, retrieved February 19, 2011 
  9. ^ U.S. Abortion Totals for 2009, 2010 and 2011
  10. ^ Planned Parenthood Annual Report, 2011–2012
  11. ^ Live Action: The Mona Lisa Project
  12. ^ Ross Douthat, "The Politics of Pregnancy Counseling", The New York Times, December 3, 2009 (accessed 18 May 2010)
  13. ^ YouTube: Lila Rose 2009 Values Voter Speech: Part 2 of 2
  14. ^ Live Action: The Planned Parenthood Racism Project
  15. ^ Live Action: The Mona Lisa Project – Bloomington, Indiana
  16. ^ Live Action: The Mona Lisa Project (Birmingham, Alabama)
  17. ^ Oliver, Kealan (February 11, 2010). "Planned Parenthood Video Sting: Was Clinic Allowing Secret Abortions?". CBS News. 
  18. ^ "Planned Parenthood Caught Breaking the Law". CBS 42 (Birmingham, AL). February 11, 2010. 
  19. ^ Burch, Edward (January 16, 2014). "Birmingham's Planned Parenthood temporarily closed". ABC 3340. 
  20. ^ Live Action: Child Sex Trafficking
  21. ^ Anti-abortion group releases more video of Planned Parenthood
  22. ^ US fight over abortion heats up again
  23. ^ a b Planned Parenthood Seeks FBI Probe into Possible Ploy by Anti-Abortion Group
  24. ^ Martinez, Michael (February 9, 2011), "Planned Parenthood to retrain after anti-abortion group videos", CNN, retrieved February 24, 2011 
  25. ^ a b Lila Rose vs. Planned Parenthood
  26. ^ "Holder: No Prosecution in Connection With Planned Parenthood Video Sting". Fox News. 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  27. ^ Sex-Selection in America: Part 1 – Undercover in Texas
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^ Sex-Selection in America: Part 4 – Undercover in Hawaii
  30. ^ 2012 Arizona Revised Statutes – Title 13 Criminal Code
  31. ^ Inhuman: Undercover in America's Late-Term Abortion Industry
  32. ^ Inhuman: Washington, D.C., April 29, 2013
  33. ^ Weekly Standard, April 29, 2013
  34. ^ a b Slate, May 16, 2013
  35. ^ House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Hearing: H.R. 1797, May 23, 2013
  36. ^ Roll Call 251 on H.R. 1797
  37. ^ Dinan, Stephen (2013-11-03), Lindsey Graham will lead charge in Senate for abortion ban after 20 weeks, The Washington Times, retrieved 2013-11-04 
  38. ^ Inside "Right On The Edge"
  39. ^ YouTube
  40. ^ YouTube
  41. ^ YouTube
  42. ^ [2]
  43. ^ "Life Prizes Announces Award Winners Lila Rose". 
  44. ^ Susan B. Anthony List - Past Young Leader Awardees
  45. ^ National Journal

External links[edit]