Lila Rose: …and I come from the United States with a message of hope and of great faith in what God can do in our international movement for life. Because I firmly believe with my whole heart that this international movement will succeed and that we will see great changes across the world in many nations, including France, including the United States, to establish the protection and dignity of every human life in both our culture and in our government in all of our society.
I want to first share a little bit about myself and my background and then talk to you about some of the work that my organization Live Action is doing in the United States and some of the things that we have found to be very successful in the fight for human life. I come from a wonderful family. I am one of eight children. So that should tell you something about my pro-life upbringing. My parents taught us from a young age to love and respect life. I was born and raised in California- beautiful place- and when I was a young girl, I discovered and learned about abortion.
I was looking for a book to read one day and I found a book, I was 9 years old. I found a book in our living room on the bottom shelf so it was about my height, so I was very small. It was called, “A Handbook on Abortion” by Dr. and Mrs. Wilke. I pulled it out and there was a very serious looking cover with a woman on it and I remember thinking, this looks like a very old book. I wonder what this is. It looks like it’s from the 1980s, mystery. I pull it out and it falls to the center where there are images. In shock and horror, I am looking at this image. I close the book and I push it away. I don’t want to keep looking at this image. Then gathering up again of my courage as this nine year old, I pull the book back, I opened the back, and I look. What I’m looking at is the image of a tiny child, maybe 10 weeks old, first trimester, with little legs and little arms and a newly forming little face that had been a victim of an abortion. As I looked at this image, as a little girl, I thought with my heart breaking, is this real? Is this really happening? How could anyone do this to a baby? I went and found my mother in the kitchen and I showed her the image and I said, “Is this real? Is this really happening?” She said, “Yes, and that’s abortion” and she closed the book.
The image stayed in my mind. It stayed in my heart. I began to learn more, asked question as any child would do after being confronted with such horror I said, “Well how many?” and I read this book. There are over 3,000 of these abortions happening in my country, in the United States, every day. Since 1973, it had become legal to do this in my country. Within ten miles of my childhood home, where I would be raised, there was an abortion clinic open for business twice every week on Tuesdays and Saturdays, killed 30 children a day. Suddenly I began to realize, that I was not as safe as I felt. There were children close to me who were not safe the way that I had been safe growing up.
You tell a child about abortion in the most gentle way possible and they will be so disturbed. They will be hurt because children have the truth in their hearts, which God has written in their hearts, which God has written in all of our hearts, which is that every life is precious and made in his image. It’s a mysterious intuitive truth that we can understand without anyone having to even teach it to us. Something as precious, is about the human person and that is the truth that we are committed to reminding people about, boldly, lovingly, every day until we transform our nations.
After seeing that image and as I began to learn more about all of these different things, I also came across the teachings of Mother Teresa and our Lord Jesus Christ. It put more of a context on this issue for me. Mother Teresa, that little nun from Calcutta who became so well loved internationally, whenever she had the opportunity she had very strong words to say about abortion. Before the national breakfast in front of President Bill Clinton, a very pro-abortion, former United States president, she addressed the audience and she said this- this was the Nobel peace prize winner, Mother Theresa, she’s been given prizes to talk about peace – this is what she said, “The greatest destroyer of peace in the world today is the cry of the innocent unborn child.” That is why we are all here. We know many issues confront us spiritually, politically in our societies, but we recognize that we cannot have peace anywhere in our homes, in our families, in our towns, cities, in our nations, in our world if we do not protect the one that is the weakest, the one that is the most vulnerable among us.
Jesus Christ tells us whatever you do to the least of these, you do it unto me. He says whatever you do to the least, the most vulnerable you are doing it to me. When we allow in our nations the killing of the least of these, of that unborn child, we are doing it to God himself. He takes on radical solidarity with the most vulnerable, with the weakest. This is a great mission. It’s a mission for human rights, for the most fundamental human right. It’s a mission, a spiritual mission, to see God in the face of each one, even the faceless unborn child that is not revealed to the world yet. It’s a mission to tell God’s message of love for each person and his great design to every person, in particularly to young people.
As a teenager, I started Live Action at 15. It was built on all of these things going on in my mind and in my heart which many here are already talking about and thinking about and working towards. I wanted to somehow get involved. I prayed to God. I was raised in a Christian home. I prayed to God. “God use me, use me to do something about abortion. Use me somehow to save lives.” It’s very dangerous to ever ask God to use you to do anything for him because he absolutely will. Our God is a very active, loving father. He was a gentleman and will not impose on our freedom. If you give him an inch, he will take a mile as they say in the U.S. If we give a little room he will take all of us because he loves us that much. He wants all men to be saved. Scriptures tell us that God is not a God that says, “Oh let the world burn,” but he wants to be intimately actively involved in every aspect of our lives and every aspect of our nations. He wants to work for the salvation of every person and nothing poses a greater threat today, I believe more souls, than abortion. All of the sins and evils involved, that ultimate sin of abortion where the weakest is being murdered and being killed by those closest to that weakest member, by their own family, by their own community.
As a 15 year-old, I began to do youth education outreach in my community. When I got to college I brought my ministry there, after establishing it in my home town. Once at UCLA, I started to realize that there were 40,000 people at my school, and so few of these people had even heard any of the truth about abortion or about the dignity of the human person. I began to work with other students to be inspired, to find creative ways to communicate to them, to get past the lies they had been told. So many people had been telling them, in the media or in politics or in entertainment, that abortion was an issue about choice, of personal freedom. Phrases that were so misleading and false like “reproductive freedom” “pro-choice” like even “human rights” all of these false phrases had been used to talk about abortion and human life.
We began to construct some ideas of ways to expose the evil that was happening all around us because in the practice of abortion, in the practice of this great evil, you will not find virtue. In this practice of this great evil in the abortion clinic, the abortion politicians, the abortion movement, you will only find more evil and more brokenness and more illegal activity and all kinds of unethical activity. We believe that if we could expose some of these things, it could provide a bridge to get people to talk and to think and to reveal the truth about abortion to other people. So this began our investigative program where we were doing youth education with presentations, with magazines, with brochures, with speeches, but we also wanted to get videos-undercover videos- of what was really happening with abortion politicians, with abortion clinics, in the abortion movement.
Our first investigation was very simple and very amateur. I was 18 years old at the time, I’m 24 now. Not too long ago, I posed as a sexual abuse victim in a Planned Parenthood, which is the big abortion group in the United States, Planned Parenthood abortion clinic a few miles from my college, from my university. I went there to pose as a 15 year old girl. I had a voice recorder in my blouse. I had an old camera in my purse and I was going to tell the clinic that I was an under-aged girl and I needed help, that I had been a victim of abuse. I walked into this clinic. It was in a beautiful part of Los Angeles where my school is, a tourist attraction area with coffee shops and shopping centers and nice restaurants, and they had put a medical abortion clinic above a coffee shop.
I got in the elevator and got out. I’d never been inside an abortion clinic before. I had prayed outside of clinics, which I think is such a wonderful thing. Every clinic should have people praying outside of it. This was my first time inside. My heart was beating very quickly, you can hear in the voice recorder the beat of my heart. It’s like a soundtrack for the investigation. I got out of the elevator. I walked to the door. There were people sitting in this waiting room, women. I looked and realized that none of them looked very happy. One woman looked like she was about to cry. There was an old tv blaring. On the wall of the clinic it said “Esperanza” or Hope in Spanish – many people in California speak Spanish. I thought this must be the most hopeless place in Los Angeles.
I walked in. I walked up to the check-in counter and I said to the woman at the check-in counter, “Can I talk to somebody, being 15 you know can I talk to somebody?” She said, “What’s going on?”- the abortion worker- she says, “What’s going on?” I said, “Well I’m only 15 and I’m pregnant” and she says oh this is a good client so she said, “let me talk to you behind the check-in counter. So any more questions?” and I said, “Well, I don’t know what to do because I’m 15 and I’m pregnant and he’s 23.” In the state of California, this is illegal. This abortion clinic is required to immediately report this abuse to the Child Protective Services, to the authorities, but instead the woman smiled and the Planned Parenthood employee said, “Oh it’s fine, just figure out a birth date that works. Lie on the paperwork. Say that you are older than you really are. Nobody needs to know about the secret abortion, and we won’t tell anyone.” This was my first piece of advice in this Planned Parenthood clinic. We don’t tell anyone, lie about your age, nobody needs to know about your pregnancy, or about this older man.
After that first investigation, we began to go to many more clinics. We posted the results online. I didn’t know what would happen, but what quickly happened is the media started to learn more about what had happened. The video started to be watched. A few days later, after we put this online, I got an email from Planned Parenthood, the national abortion organization, and they said, “Dear Lila, Dear Miss Rose, if you don’t take these videos off of YouTube, we will sue you and pursue criminal penalties against you, sue you for $5,000 for each offense that you do- Sincerely, Planned Parenthood.” I remember reading this email in my dorm and I remember thinking I don’t even have $200. I’m a penniless college student, but then thinking, God what do I do? I don’t have lawyers. I don’t know the media. I didn’t have any money. I didn’t know what to do, but I prayed and I gave it to God and our God is all powerful. What ended up happening is I got pro-bono legal support and there had really been a network of people and I had my first national tv interview within a week. That video of Planned Parenthood was played on national television. Millions of people began to learn the truth about what was happening in these Planned Parenthood clinics. I learned a lesson I will never forget, which I try to remember every day. God works all things for the good of those who love him and in our battle for life, if we are courageous and we work hard, God will work all things for good. We just have to try to be faithful each day and be bold each day.
After that investigation, we began to do many more. We consulted with a legal team. We learned the ways to do this work. There is a way to do this work I believe in every country. We began to document more and more all of the abuses of the abortion industry because it caused controversy. The strategy is very good. It caused controversy. It made people talk and debate about this issue. It was visual. Visual media, it made people see the truth, live from the clinic, from the employee, from the leader of the abortion group talking and admitting these things whether it was sexual abuse cover up, or lies about how abortion was done, lies about the medical risks, or the cover up of sex trafficking, or the manipulation of the corrosive counseling of a woman or the racism, the racist element of how many abortions are done or even the sexist element of how many abortions are done for reasons of sex motivations because they do not like the sex of the child. All of these things are connected to the ultimate evil, abortion.
So what we’ve seen is that when you expose another evil that maybe society is more uncomfortable with, sexism, racism, sexual abuse, sexual trafficking, human trafficking, you connect it. You show the connections, these offenses against dignity- against human dignity. You connect it with the faceless victim of the unborn child. You have an opportunity like never before to help people see and understand this from a prospective of human rights and to get the media involved in talking about it, to give yourself a platform. We’ve seen this strategy be very successful. I want to show you just a minute or two of one of these videos. This is from our sexual trafficking investigation. We did this last year. We went to clinics across the country. We had our actors, Live Action investigators, posing as sexual traffickers of young girls. I am not, I retired from investigation because they put my photo up on the wall of all their clinics. I’m very flattered of course. I bleached my hair a few years ago, platinum blonde to continue my undercover work, but then we discovered they put up a photo of me as a blonde next to me as a brunette. I thought ok I can go red next, red hair or I should just train other people. Now we have an extensive network in the United States of trusted individuals who we work closely with. This video you will see two of these people that we have trained posing as human traffickers of young girls, talking to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic manager.
Lila Rose: This video goes on and on. I would like to share all of it with you and you can see them all online, but the results I want to share briefly with you to close and leave you with this, the power of this work. After this video was released and others like it, and this is a sample of the results we’ve seen in the United States with this work, we saw this manager was fired. Congress, people who had never moved to do this in Congress before, legislators in our national Congress, moved to defund Planned Parenthood for the first time in history. They debated this on the floor of the House for days, talking about this issue. It was amazing to see the backlash from the abortion industry. They called it the worst attack ever because they had been so threatened by the truth that these videos revealed.
In all of this I want to close with a quote I found very inspiring. Again this work can be very difficult. We are dealing with such great evil, but we are proclaiming a great truth and whenever I have the opportunity, I hope to proclaim this. I hope we all proclaim this because it is a message of love, as we expose this evil and we ask for real political, legal changes. St. Augustine tells us that people travel the whole world to marvel at the height of mountains, at the circular motion of the stars, at the vast course of rivers, at the enormous oceans, but St. Augustine says that people pass by themselves without wondering. That is why I’ve dedicated my life and we here are dedicating ourselves to this most beautiful work because how wonderful is the human person? How precious is the human person? The faceless child to the elderly, all ages, from every nation, how precious, how beautiful, the greatest of all of God’s creation. Our fight and all the labor and all the effort we put into it and the way we dedicate our lives to this fight, it is all worth it. The rewards that God will give us and the peace he instills in our hearts, in the love that he gives in our hearts, nothing can compare to such a beautiful gift that God fills our hearts with when we say even in just a little way use me, let me do your will in this. Thank you so much for having me this evening.