Tag Archives: Lila Rose

Taking heartfelt action for God’s littlest citizens

Everyday in America abortionists legally end the lives of 3,000 innocent children. They’re children with beating hearts, moving arms and legs, and newly formed faces and toes. They are precious in God’s eyes and have the right to our love and care. Yet instead of being welcomed into this world, they are destroyed.

This isn’t health care. This isn’t female empowerment. And certainly, this isn’t a “right.” In fact, it’s the greatest human rights abuse of our time. Yet many have embraced abortion as all these things.

Since founding Live Action — one of the nation’s leading pro-life organizations — when I was 15, I’ve seen countless times that when we expose the truth about abortion, we break apart these lies. When we shine a light into the darkness, we can change hearts and minds.

Through compelling educational media, human interest stories, and investigative reporting, Live Action exposes the abortion industry’s lies and its exploitation of women and children for profit. We also reveal the unquestionable humanity of the preborn child and the brutal reality of abortion, and we tell uplifting stories about people who choose life even in the toughest of circumstances.

In our most recent investigative report, “Aiding Abusers,” we collected court documents, police reports, and the testimonies of former employees who reveal that Planned Parenthood — a celebrated “Me Too” movement supporter and self-proclaimed advocate for women — has for decades refused to report men who sexually abuse 12- and 13-year-old girls, then bring them to Planned Parenthood for abortions to cover up their crimes.

The report led Congress in June to call for a federal investigation, which could help build the case for ending the abortion chain’s taxpayer funding. Since Planned Parenthood gets nearly half of its budget from taxpayers, defunding would be a huge step in crippling its abortion business — a business that kills over 320,000 preborn children every year.

Another tool in the abortion fight has been our “Abortion Procedures” online video series. The short four-minute videos feature a former abortionist using medical animations to show what happens to a baby and mother during the four most common abortion procedures.

To test their effectiveness, we showed the videos to 500 “pro-choice” millennial women and asked them their attitudes about abortion before and after watching. The results were astonishing. Almost a third viewed abortion less favorably afterwards. And nearly half said the videos were so eye-opening that they should be shown in high school sex education classes.

“Abortion Procedures” has become the most-watched pro-life series in history, reaching nearly 100 million views online with translations in Romanian, Spanish, German, Chinese, and several other languages. Because of their success, Live Action is working to put these videos in front of every American.

“Aiding Abusers” and “Abortion Procedures” are just two ways we are trying to change hearts and minds. While laws need to change, attitudes must change first to create a culture that respects life. Then the laws will follow.

Live Action has the largest and most engaged online following in the pro-life movement — with three million followers sharing our content with their friends to reach millions more. Live Action and its followers work together to educate, inspire, and activate others to make abortion as unthinkable as other human rights abuses like slavery, human trafficking, and genocide.

By shining the light of truth into the darkness using the power of storytelling, and by using the power of our followers to share this truth with others, we are spreading the pro-life message throughout the nation in an effort to end abortion in our lifetime.

 

LILA ROSE is a featured speaker at the upcoming Legatus 2019 Summit. She is the president and founder of the national pro-life organization Live Action. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Legates band together for life

Legatus’ annual pro-life conference in DC draws big names, inspires leaders . . .

It wasn’t meeting with high-level politicians or a tour of the U.S. Supreme Court that had Legatus members all abuzz at this year’s annual Pro-Life Conference. Rather, it was the invigorating power of gathering with like-minded individuals on a quest to defend women and their unborn children, Legates said.

“Sometimes in the pro-life struggle you feel alone,” said Steve Peroutka, a member of Legatus’ Baltimore Chapter and founder of National Pro-Life Radio. “You come to something like this and find that there are many people around the country doing so many good things. It gives you courage. We all wish we could have courage all the time, but it’s a lot easier to have courage when you stand side-by-side with others.”

Momentum

Peroutka was one of 40 Legates from across the country who gathered in Washington, D.C., for Legatus’ 10th pro-life conference from April 30-May 2. The gathering kicked off with delegates attending a Heroic Media event with Sarah Palin.

Speaker of the House John Boehner addresses the annual Legatus pro-life conference

The event continued Sunday with Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, followed by brunch with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) at the Willard Hotel.

Boehner, who also attended Mass at the Basilica, told Legates about his efforts to tackle massive government spending and his pro-life convictions.

“My pro-life position is not really a position,” he said. “It’s what I’ve believed my whole life. It’s what I was taught. It’s not my political position, it’s who I am.

“You’ve seen us take some real stands, in the last year especially, in Congress. Chris Smith has a bill that makes it clear throughout the entire government that public funding of elective abortion is not going to be the policy of the United States.”

Boehner poses with Legatus’ executive director John Hunt and his wife Kathie

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced a bill to ensure that no taxpayer dollars are spent on abortion. It passed the House 251-175 on May 4. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act codifies into law the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds in appropriations bills from being spent on abortions.

A similar measure, introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) on May 5, faces an uphill battle in the Democratically-controlled Senate. The White House has threatened to veto the legislation if it makes it to the president’s desk.

Longtime pro-life activists Dr. John Willke and his wife Barbara, members of Legatus’ Cincinnati Chapter, said they were encouraged by the conference and by the momentum the pro-life movement has gathered over the last several decades.

Pro-life activist Lila Rose addresses Legates

“We have a small group of people here, but the enthusiasm is like the movement is just beginning,” he explained. “That’s not the way it ought to be 40 years into a social movement. We ought to be tired and dejected by now. We’re not!”

Barbara said she was particularly energized by the enthusiasm of young pro-lifers like Live Action founder and president Lila Rose. The 22-year-old activist has made a name for herself by conducting videotaped sting operations on Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Her efforts have led to dozens of bills to defund the abortion giant in the U.S. House and in state Houses across the country.

Making a difference

Rose, who spoke just minutes after Boehner left the stage, told Legates that young pro-lifers are using social media to educate the public about abortion and the lies upon which Planned Parenthood operates.

“We’re going to work tirelessly to be a social media game changer, to make a difference for life,” she said. “It’s happening in incredibly ways in our country. There is so much reason to hope.”

Rose urged delegates to get involved because abortion, she insisted, affects each and every American in one way or another.

Fr. Frank Pavone celebrates Mass with Fr. Rob Schenck during the annual Legatus Pro-Life Conference

“This is not an issue that is separate from us in another country or another city or another place,” she said. “It’s in our very midst. It’s in our churches; it’s in our families, our extended families, in our friendships. It’s every day. It’s children who have just died, who are scheduled to die. It’s children that God had a plan for.”

Legates were fed by daily Mass, the rosary and the opportunity for Confession. They heard homilies from Fr. Paul Schenk, chairman of the National Pro-Life Center, and Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

“Such a conference wouldn’t be a Legatus event without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,” said Legatus executive director John Hunt. “The liturgies supply us with the power to fight the evil that abortion inflicts upon women and their children.”

Heartbeat International president Peggy Hartshorn speaks during a panel discussion on advances in the pro-life movement. Looking on are Alan Sears and Day Gardner

Legates like Kathie Lund found the liturgies inspiring and the speakers motivating.

“Each day got better,” said Lund, a member of Legatus’ Pasadena Chapter and board president of the Right to Life League of Southern California. “It’s reassuring to know that there are so many people out there doing similar work every day.

“You are lifted up by other like-minded people,” Lund added. “There is power in working together. There’s power when you’re all working for the same end. It’s also encouraging to see that we have a pro-life Congress. I need to life them up in prayer by name. We need to pray for the abortion doctors. Pray with your family with your kids, grandkids to support this and challenge heaven to come down and help us. We’re ready!”

Patrick Novecosky is Legatus Magazine’s editor.

Shaking the giant

Live Action’s work has led to greater scrutiny of abortion giant Planned Parenthood . . .

In early February, the pro-life group Live Action released a video that rocked the political landscape.

Peter Breen

It featured a member of the group pretending to be a pimp, asking an employee at a Planned Parenthood center how to obtain STD testing and abortions for his prostitutes— girls he said were minors and hinted were illegal aliens. Despite the patent illegality of his requests, as well as the suggestion of a prostitution ring employing foreign sex slaves, the employee casually offered assistance.

Defunding abortion giant

The video was part of a sting operation the group conducted at Planned Parenthood centers in Virginia, New Jersey and New York. The employees of the nation’s largest abortion provider didn’t question Live Action’s pretend pimps and prostitutes. Instead they counseled how to evade the law to obtain abortions for minors.

The long-term fallout remains to be seen, but a few weeks after the video went public, the House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood, a $1 billion industry to which taxpayers have annually provided a lifeline of over $300 million. On March 10, in a 56-44 vote, the Senate voted to continue funding Planned Parenthood. Pro-lifers vow to fight on.

Live Action and its founder, 22-year-old Lila Rose, have “undermined the carefully cultivated image that Planned Parenthood serves the interests of women,” said Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society, a pro-life law center. “When George Soros arranges a conference call to strategize how to save Planned Parenthood’s reputation, you know they’re having an impact that can’t be underestimated. We’re also seeing pro-life bills moving on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures that otherwise might not have without the national exposure Live Action has achieved.”

When Planned Parenthood suggested that Live Action’s tactics were illegal, Breen’s firm stepped in. “We verified that they were perfectly within the bounds of the law and doing something laudable in the great tradition of undercover investigation,” he said.

Rose and her young group are supported by veteran pro-lifers whose traditional tactics against Planned Parenthood — such as sidewalk counseling and mass mailings — don’t get primetime notoriety.

Judie Brown

“I have tremendous respect for Lila Rose,” said Judie Brown, president and cofounder of the American Life League. “Thanks to her, the average American now knows what goes on in a Planned Parenthood clinic. Live Action shows that if you’re in the business of killing babies, you’ll do anything.”

What about Planned Parenthood’s declaration that staff will be retrained to avoid future sex abuse cover-ups?

“We’ve been watching them for 35 years, and they’ll say anything to get the media off their backs,” said Brown. “Lila is proving that Planned Parenthood is a consummate expert at saying one thing publicly and doing another.”

Humble beginnings

For her part, Rose stepped into the battle for life when she was 15. One of eight children, she told Legatus Magazine that at nine years old she found her parents’ copy of Dr. & Mrs. Jack Willke’s Handbook on Abortion.

“I was very shocked,” she said. “I saw images of little arms and legs and wondered how someone could do this to a baby. I felt I had to make difference. It was a natural progression from then on.”

Rose started Live Action in her living room six years later. It began with ministry programs for youth groups in Rose’s native northern California. They soon began using electronic media to reach a bigger audience, particularly among the young. They hit the jackpot when they began doing undercover work within the abortion industry while Rose studied at UCLA, from which she graduated last year.

“Even the President [Obama] talked about the videos we released in February,” she said. “We believe the work we’re doing is like other undercover work that aims to expose the truth and save lives. Our undercover actors are representing victims of sex abuse and women who’ve had abortions after being lied to about the reality of abortion and miseducated about their sexuality and dignity [in school and the culture].”

Rose said she believes legal abortion will end in her lifetime. “We’re already seeing the beginning of the end of Planned Parenthood. Our government was founded on preserving life, but it’s funding an abortion chain that covers up the trafficking of young girls and profits from lying about human life. We need to stop the government’s complicity with evil.”

Live Action will continue to work to that end, Rose said. “We’re a small, committed team and we want to grow,” she said. “We only have two full-time staff, numerous contractors, little overhead and a tight budget: last year about $150,000, though we’re projecting to have a much bigger budget this year to expand our programs.”

She says the Los Angeles-based group will continue doing undercover work, original research and investigative reporting. Her team will continue using the media to reach the widest possible audience.

“We need to mobilize young people through new social media to educate their peers,” Rose said. “We need to organize young leaders who will work hard with us to end abortion. A lot of what we do is grassroots.”

Raised evangelical Christian, Rose entered the Catholic Church two years ago. She took the confirmation name Joan after her hero, St. Joan of Arc. “She gave a complete ‘yes’ to God, going into battle and leading men for love of God and country. When you say ‘yes’ to God, you’d better be ready for a wonderful adventure you can’t imagine.”

And Rose believes her divine adventure has just begun.

Matthew A. Rarey is Legatus Magazine’s editorial assistant.

Legates for life

Legatus is gearing up for its 10th pro-life conference in the nation’s capital . . .

As the nation’s capital reaches the height of springtime splendor, pro-life leaders are forecasting a new springtime for America’s heart and soul after witnessing shifts in cultural attitudes and last year’s election of pro-life politicians to Congress.

With renewed vigor, Legatus members will converge on Washington, D.C., for the 10th Legatus Pro-Life Conference, April 30 to May 2 at the Park Hyatt hotel.

The conference brings Legates together with top political leaders and policy makers, including Speaker of the House John Boehner and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

“This conference is an opportunity for Legates to meet with key legislators in the House and Senate in order to reaffirm our commitment to life from conception to natural death,” said Laura Sacha, Legatus’ conference director. “It’s also an opportunity to learn about critical policy concerns affecting life issues, hear from speakers on current news in the pro-life movement, and join together in prayer that all Americans will appreciate and protect God’s gift of life.”

Open to all

But the event is not just for members in pro-life ministries, Sacha said. “It’s for every Legate who wants to learn more about life issues and how to make a difference. We’ll hear from speakers and meet legislators who are working to bring abortion to an end.”

This year’s conference includes VIP admission to a pro-life benefit dinner keynoted by Sarah Palin, all meals, three nights’ stay at the Park Hyatt in the heart of Washington, and special visits with prominent figures in the pro-life movement.

Highlights include:

• “Brunch with Boehner,” an intimate dining experience with the new Speaker of the House, the first Catholic with a 100% pro-life voting record to hold the position

• Daily Mass, including a private Mass in “America’s Church,” the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

• Keynote addresses by prominent pro-lifers. Saturday night’s dinner will feature Sarah Palin. Sunday’s dinner speaker is Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action (click here for a related story). Monday’s dinner features the new president of Ave Maria University, Jim Towey, a veteran educator and policymaker who served as director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under President George W. Bush.

Peggy Hartshorn is president of Heartbeat International, which operates pregnancy help ministries in 48 countries (click her for a related story). A member of Legatus’ Pro-Life Committee, Hartshorn encourages everyone who is passionate about life issues to attend.

“Our pro-life conference is designed for a relatively small group compared to our Summit,” she explained. “This makes the event a very intimate gathering where each participant can talk personally to some of the most influential leaders in our nation’s capital. How else could any of us have lunch with the Speaker of the House or have a private meeting with a Supreme Court justice?”

The conference is not just about learning the latest news in the struggle to protect human life, Sacha said. Nor is it merely a matter of networking with top government and pro-life leaders. Without the centrality of the sacred, it would not be a Legatus conference.

“Starting our conference with an intimate Mass in our national shrine reminds us of the importance of prayer in our battle to return our nation to its founding principles and save precious lives from abortion,” she noted.

Matthew A. Rarey is Legatus Magazine’s editorial assistant.

To register, visit Legatus’ website and login or call (877) LEGATUS.