Pro-Life Prodigy Battles to Save 'Culture of Life'
MINNEAPOLIS -- Lila Rose, president of Live Action, has become an emerging force in the pro-life movement at only 25 years old.
Rose began this journey as a teenager and now finds herself taking on the likes of Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion provider.
She's refused to back down in her battle to save the "culture of life."
"We're objectifying, we're dehumanizing human beings, and that is never right and we have to stand up against that and expose it," Rose said.
And expose it she has. By using hidden cameras, Live Action investigated Planned Parenthood clinics.
In one incident, Rose posed as a 13-year-old, saying she was having sexual relations with a 31-year-old.
That's considered child abuse and should be reported to local authorities. But Live Action's cameras captured a worker making the following statement:
"I didn't hear the age. I don't want to know the age," the worker said.
Rose's investigation has led to firings, political investigations, and media attention. She's been named one of the most influential women in Washington, D.C., under 35.
But critics claimed the undercover videos are edited in a misleading way - although Live Action provides all original footage to media outlets.
As one of eight home-schooled children, Rose found her calling at a young age.
"I came across a book at about 9 years old in my parent's house, bottom shelf called, The Handbook on Abortion," she recalled. "It looked like a history book of some sort."
"[I] was interested, opened it up, it fell to the center and what I'm looking at is the image of a child in the first trimester, maybe 10 weeks old, newly forming arms and legs, newly forming little face who had been the victim of a first-trimester suctioned abortion," she said.
That image put her on a pro-life mission. She started Live Action in high school then took her cause to the University of California, Los Angeles.
"Many people, especially those on our college campuses, don't know the huge tragedy that is taking place," Rose told a group of UCLA students.
Her activism increased and the undercover investigations began. Now, Rose's organization employs 10 full staff members and they're growing.
Although Rose and her Live Action team are known for those undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood, her real heart is to change the hearts and minds of young people.
"I challenge them, saying, 'Your life is a gift. Your life has a purpose. There's no greater cause than the cause of life in our country,'" she told CBN News.
Rose said that she's seen hundreds of young, dedicated teenagers.
"There's definitely passion," one pro-life teen said. "Everyone I talk to, everyone who supports the cause is just super into it. There's no one who is, like, mediocre about it. Everybody's super passionate about it and wants it to change."
Statistics back up that claim, with one recent study showing 51 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds believe abortion should either be totally illegal or only available with some exceptions.
"The youth is the most pro-life generation that we have," said Sharon Wilson, coordinator of the youth program Respect Life at the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
Wilson noted technological advances like 3-D ultrasounds that can show babies' faces make a big difference for them.
"There's a whole biological aspect of it that these kids get that the culture of death can't push on to them because they know better," Wilson said.
"It will be this generation that will change the laws and change the hearts specifically on the areas of abortion," she predicted. "It's their generation that has been lost."
"A key market for us is young people," she said. "We need to reach my generation and future generations."
Life with a Purpose
Rose cited that as the reason she works to teach them the importance of life.
"God created us with a purpose," she said. "Before He formed us in the womb, He had a plan for us."
Rose acknowledged the fight she's fighting is both seen and unseen.
"In all of this there is something deeper going on than we can even see in front us," she explained. "There's a spiritual battle, an epic battle happening in our midst."
"If we become activists and go out there and even if it's the best cause, even if we're fighting for justice and righteousness and good things, but it's not being completely infused -- and prayer is infusing it with the spirit of God -- with the love of God, then we are nothing," she said.
Rose said she just wants to make her life count for something and knows all of this begins and ends with Jesus, who she calls her "first friend."
"Life is short, and my life could be very short," Rose acknowledged. "We don't know how long our life will be. Life is but a breath tomorrow."
"We may not have it so use today for love," she urged. "For loving God and sharing His love and His salvific plan and purpose for each person, sharing that with everybody we meet."