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Lila Rose to head anti-abortion event in Iowa

A 22-year-old woman who pushed herself into the national spotlight with controversial undercover videos will headline Iowa Right to Life’s annual spring event next month.

Lila Rose, who at age 15 founded the anti-abortion group Live Action, has made secret videotapes of her visits to Planned Parenthood clinics. During a California series in 2007, she told clinic workers she was minor who had been sexually active with a 23-year-old man, presumably the father of the non-existent child she claimed to carry. The videos were wildly circulated in anti-abortion and anti-Planned Parenthood circles because the California workers did not report the incident to law enforcement.

More recently Rose filmed a sting operation in which anti-abortion activists posed as sex traffickers seeking information about disease testing for underage Asian girls, mimicking a similar tactic utilized by James O’Keefe, another conservative videographer, when he posed as a pimp and approached ACORN staff members. O’Keefe was later arrested for tampering with office phones in U.S. Sen. Mary Landreiu‘s (D-Louisiana) office.

Although Rose’s undercover videos initially prompted Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to say he would launch an investigation, he later acknowledged that no investigation could take place since there were no actual victims of abuse. In addition, at least 11 Planned Parenthood clinics involved in Rose’s sting operation did report the incidents to law enforcement before Live Action released the videos.

For her efforts, Rose earned $50,000 in 2008 from the Gerard Health Foundation, which promotes abstinence-only education and anti-abortion actions.

In 2009, she was also named a “Young Leader” by the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion nonprofit organization. Earlier this month, as a part of the Susan B. Anthony’s List “Women Speak Out: Defund Planned Parenthood” bus tour, Rose made stops in Des Moines and Davenport. The focus of the bus tour was to convince lawmakers to vote with U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Indiana) to remove all taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood, despite the fact that federal law already prohibits use of taxpayer funds for abortion services. (The trip through Iowa targeted Democratic U.S. Reps. Leonard Boswell and Bruce Braley, but, despite traveling through the 2nd District, skipped Dave Loebsack.)

According to event information being circulated by Iowa Right to Life, Rose “has brought to light Planned Parenthood’s willingness to accept donations to exterminate minority populations; their willingness to leave statutory rape unreported; and most recently, Planned Parenthood’s willingness to aid pimps in sex trafficking.”

The organization’s “Spring Fling” is slated for April 28 at the Holiday Inn on Fleur Dr. in Des Moines.

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