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Student activist speaks at Banquet for Life

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

By Carmen M. Hubbard

ARCHDIOCESE — A Los Angeles college student has dedicated herself to protecting the most innocent — unborn babies.

In doing so, Lila Rose has blown the lid off Planned Parenthood by revealing what she terms are corrupt, criminal and deceitful practices that exploit girls who have been sexually abused then continue to collect money used to target unwanted pregnancies of minorities.

The 18th annual Banquet for Life, sponsored by Pregnancy Center East, took place April 23 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Cincinnati. Rose was the keynote speaker.

“I have witnessed stories of women and girls who are victims of sexual abuse,” she told the audience. “These women and girls have resigned to the choice, having been told it would liberate them. These brave women told us the choice does not liberate them.”

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Lila Rose (Photo courtesy of Liveaction.org)

Rose is the president and founder of Live Action, an organization that uses “new media” to spread a pro-life message to young people at both the community and national level. The 20-year-old UCLA student, who is majoring in history, traveled to Planned Parenthood offices throughout the country posing as a 13-year-old girl seeking an abortion.

She showed her Cincinnati audience a video of her undercover work. In the video, Rose told Planned Parenthood administrators in Bloomington, Ind., that the father of her unborn baby was a 31-year-old man. Instead of reporting the felony crime to Child Protective Services as is required by law, Planned Parenthood administrators told her about their “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

They explained to Rose that they would be required to report the crime to authorities. A Planned Parenthood worker said she’d pretend she didn’t hear Rose’s predicament. Rose was then referred to another Planned Parenthood,  this one in Illinois, and told how she could have a “secret abortion” without the need of her parent’s consent.

She also showed banquet attendees footage in which a friend posed as an anonymous, racist donor who insisted to a Planned Parenthood development director in Columbus that his money only go towards helping an African-American woman seeking to terminate her pregnancy. He implied that fewer African Americans would be a better thing.

“God does not forget these children. We must welcome these children and women with open arms,” Rose said. “How important is this work? Not only must we carry on the fight, but carry out the work to end abortion. I pledge my life. We must have faith that we will prevail.”

Earlier in the evening, a woman who had considered terminating her pregnancy shared with the audience how individual support and care from a counselor at Pregnancy Center East encouraged her to give birth and welcome her son home.

“The best thing for my family was to welcome my son,” the woman said to the audience. “(Pregnancy Center East) provided me with a baby crib and clothes. What meant most were the counselor’s calls.”

Scott D. Stephens, executive director of Pregnancy Center East, thanked the center’s board of directors and volunteers.

“Pregnancy East does its work because so many people say ‘yes’ — from serving on the board to sorting baby clothes,” he said.

Dominican Father James Sullivan, pastor of St. Dominic Church in Youngstown, was the master of ceremonies for the banquet and fundraiser.

“It’s about the battle for salvation,” he said. “When medical officials tell a 13-year-old girl to go across the state to have an abortion that’s not just malpractice, but the work of the devil. For me, personally, we’re willing to hide Christ to forget about life and let Planned Parenthood do its work.”

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