U.S. student, 20, emerges as anti-abortion crusader
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - With a video camera hidden in her backpack, college student Lila Rose has become a rising star in the U.S. anti-abortion movement for her clandestine tactics in taking on Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest provider of surgical abortions.
Rose stages her own sting operations at Planned Parenthood clinics, posing as a pregnant teenage girl to shine a light on what she says is the taxpayer-subsidized organization's cover-up of sexual abuse.
She claims Planned Parenthood counselors routinely ignore their duty to report statutory rape when dealing with young girls impregnated by older men and often tell them to lie about their age or the identity of their sex partners rather than alert authorities.
Rose, a 20-year-old history major at University of California, Los Angeles, posts the secretly obtained tapes on the website of her nonprofit group, LiveAction.org, prompting authorities in three states to launch investigations of Planned Parenthood.
"Planned Parenthood is looking at these young girls as a plumbing problem: 'We'll get you that abortion and send you on your way,'" Rose told Reuters in an interview. "And that's disrespecting two human lives. It's destroying her pre-born child and sending her back to an abuser."
A spokesman for Planned Parenthood declined to discuss the specific cases involving Rose but said the organization has strict policies and procedures regarding mandatory reporting and takes seriously laws protecting minors.
"In rare instances where health center employees violate those policies, immediate corrective action is taken," he said.
Thirty-six years after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the landmark Roe v. Wade case that termination of pregnancy was legal, abortion is still a bitterly debated social and political issue in the United States. Continued...