Lila Rose among Deadly Thorns
A sex trafficker and a prostitute walk into an abortion clinic . . .
and get business advice.


Kathryn Jean Lopez

That’s the scenario that has played out in multiple undercover videos released this month by Live Action, a group founded by 22-year-old Lila Rose. The videos include the complete footage of visits to seven clinics in New Jersey, New York, and Virginia, and there is also audio from a visit in Washington, D.C.. The willingness of Planned Parenthood workers to provide, in Rose’s words, “a safe haven for sex traffickers” is on display in visit after visit.

“Injustice makes for life action.” That’s the most concise explanation for why Live Action exists, as Lila Rose, its founder and president, tells it. She describes Live Action as a “grassroots” organization of “youth leaders” who are driven by a desire to “defend the most defenseless.” Rose says, “Through the videos and investigations, we want to educate the public, to urge state authorities to enforce the law, and then encourage legislators to end taxpayer subsidies of Planned Parenthood.”

Most of the videos involve a pair of investigators, posing as a pimp and one of his “girls,” who visit a Planned Parenthood clinic to ask for advice on tests, contraception, and abortions. (A video released Thursday follows a slightly different scenario, with a lone madam making similar inquiries.) The videos have resulted in the firing of one Planned Parenthood clinic worker in New Jersey and have sent Planned Parenthood and its allies into attack mode. Despite the firing and the announcement that Planned Parenthood will be retraining staff, it still employs such workers as the woman in Virginia who advised Live Action’s investigators on the ease of obtaining a judicial pass for abortions for under-age girls, and the woman in the Bronx who advised that although identification would be required for services and financial aid, the pimp himself could write a letter that would serve as proof of employment because “they don’t even call you.” The latter also said that while they counsel the girls that they really shouldn’t be engaging in sexual activity within three weeks after an abortion, “I do have girls come in like three days later, asking me for the Plan B because they just couldn’t just stop or for whatever reason they just had to.”

This is only the latest exposé by Live Action. Their work has also revealed what Rose calls Planned Parenthood’s “abortion-first mentality,” which leads it to bypass state laws when faced with under-age girls. Live Action’s work has led to investigations in Indiana and Alabama and defunding in Tennessee. Last year, an Alabama Planned Parenthood clinic was put on probation after Live Action exposed its willingness to provide abortions to under-age girls.

“She is the Upton Sinclair of this generation,” Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, said on a webcast hosted by the Family Research Council. Talk-radio star Laura Ingraham said Rose is “doing the work that 60 Minutes used to do. She should really get a Pulitzer,” Ingraham says, both celebrating Rose’s undercover efforts and subtly criticizing the MIA media.

Rose herself, meanwhile, isn’t complaining about media bias or government funding of Planned Parenthood but is doing something about it: rallying pro-life activists and rattling the abortion industry and its advocates.

“I come from a wonderful, big family,” says Rose, who is one of eight children. “My parents taught us from a young age to respect and cherish all people’s lives. When I was 13, after learning more and more about abortion, I decided I had to do something about it.” She cites Nobel Peace Prize–winner Mother Teresa: “‘There is no greater destroyer of peace than abortion’ and no greater violence. When I was 15, I had started Live Action as a high-school pro-life group in my hometown, and it has been an adventure ever since to develop our strategies and work to reach more people with the truth.”