Live Action (organization)
|This article or section may be slanted towards recent events. (February 2011)|
Live Action is an American pro-life non-profit organization founded by Lila Rose in 2004. According to their website, they are a "youth led movement dedicated to building a culture of life and ending abortion." They are known for controversial undercover video operations against Planned Parenthood clinics.
|This section requires expansion. (February 2011)|
Live Action publishes The Advocate, a student-based magazine distributed on dozens of college campuses throughout the country.
Live Action also operates an online news and opinion outlet called Live Action News. The group maintains a Facebook page with over 590,000 fans and a Twitter feed, @LiveActionFilms, with over 17,000 followers.
In 2010, a sting by Live Action on a Birmingham Planned Parenthood clinic led to a state investigation and the clinic being placed on probation by the Department of Health for what the state described as a "technical violation."
Live Action gained attention in February 2011 for undercover videos at multiple Planned Parenthood affiliates. The videos show Planned Parenthood staff counseling an investigator posing as a pimp on how to procure clandestine abortions and STD testing for his underage sex workers. According to spokespeople at Planned Parenthood, the organization reported the activities of the individuals involved to the Federal Bureau of Investigation before the videos were made public. Neither the Justice Department nor the FBI would confirm that an investigation was launched.
In March 2011, Live Action partnered with the Susan B. Anthony List for a bus tour through 13 congressional districts either condemning or praising their representatives for their votes on defunding Planned Parenthood of tax dollars through the Pence Amendment. Planned Parenthood sent a bus to follow the Live Action & SBA List bus in response. Former Planned Parenthood clinic director-turned-pro-life activist Abby Johnson joined Live Action's effort in early 2011 and partnered with the SBA List on ad campaigns to support the defunding.
In May 2012, Live Action released a series of videos showing employees at Planned Parenthood and NAF abortion centers advising patients on how to procure sex-selective abortions. The undercover investigator posed as a pregnant mother seeking an abortion on the grounds that her child was female, whereas she preferred a male. The heavily edited video left out conversations where the employee suggested adoption, asked whether the pregnant woman was "100% sure", and stated there are no tests that can identify the embryo's sex that early in the pregnancy. Planned Parenthood denied any support for sex selective elective abortion and claimed that the employee targeted in the sting was not acting within official guidelines on the subject. The employee was fired.  Live Action also targeted several facilities in at least a dozen states but did not provide similar video evidence.
After the first video (captured in Austin, TX) was released, Planned Parenthood denied supporting sex-selective elective abortion and fired the employee featured in the tape.  Similar footage from Planned Parenthood locations in Mali and Honolulu, Hawaii - including a counselor's advice on how to fund a sex-selective abortion with state tax money - elicited no subsequent response from the organization.
Another video showed employees at two Arizona abortion facilities - Camelback Family Planning in Phoenix and the Tucson Women's Center in Tucson - instructing the investigator to suppress her reason for seeking the abortion. After hearing that the investigator desires to abort her fetus for being female, the Phoenix counselor tells her, "Don't let it be known!," while the surgical assistant in Tucson says, "I'll just forget about it ... but just be sure not to mention it" to the abortion doctor. Sex-selective abortion is illegal in Arizona.  Neither the two taped clinics nor the NAF took any action following the release.
In the Spring of 2013, Live Action released a series of undercover videos documenting late-term abortion doctors' stated policy toward children born alive as the result of a failed abortion attempt. The video release coincided with intense media scrutiny of the ongoing Kermit Gosnell murder trial. These include a video where Cesare Santangelo, a Washington, D.C. abortion doctor, admits that he would let a child die if born alive during an abortion:
"Technically – you know, legally we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive. But, you know, it probably wouldn’t. It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point," Santangelo tells the undercover activist working for the pro-life group Live Action. "Let’s say you went into labor, the membranes ruptured, and you delivered before we got to the termination part of the procedure here, you know? Then we would do things – we would –we would not help it. We wouldn’t intubate. It would be, you know, uh, a person, a terminal person in the hospital, let’s say, that had cancer, you know? You wouldn’t do any extra procedures to help that person survive. Like ‘do not resuscitate’ orders. We would do the same things here.”
Commentators opposing restrictions on abortion have accused Live Action of editing the Inhuman videos in an intentionally misleading manner. William Saletan of Slate criticized Live Action's Inhuman videos as "orchestrated to embarrass doctors and their clinics." Saletan claimed that he "went through the raw footage to see what the video editors took out." Live Action includes raw footage with every video release.
On Thursday, May 23, 2013, U.S. Representative Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) showed Live Action's Arizona video from the Inhuman campaign as support for HR 1797, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban the majority of abortions after 20 weeks (five months) throughout the United States. The bill eventually passed in the House, by a vote of 228 to 196, and now awaits consideration in the Senate.
- "About Live Action". Liveaction.org. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "The Advocate | Pro-Life Campus Magazine". Live Action. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "Live Action News & Opinion". Liveactionnews.org. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- Live Action Facebook page
- Live Action Twitter feed
- Anti-abortion leaders rally in favor of new clinic regulations, June 6, 2013
- Group behind video rallies outside D.C. abortion doctor's office, May 1, 2013
- Lila Rose on Hannity discussing the 'Inhuman' investigation, May 30, 2013
- Roe v. Wade, 40 years later, January 28, 2013
- Hunter, Desiree (2010-02-10). "AP: Birmingham abortion clinic put on probation". Associated Press via The San Diego Union-Tribune.
- "Planned Parenthood to retrain after anti-abortion group videos". CNN. February 9, 2011.
- Planned Parenthood Informs Federal Authorities of Potential Sex Trafficking
- Planned Parenthood Seeks FBI Probe into Possible Ploy by Anti-Abortion Group
- AP Exclusive: Planned Parenthood seeks FBI probe. Retrieved February 2, 2011
- Planned Parenthood Fires Manager After Undercover Video. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
- Holder: No Prosecution in Connection With Planned Parenthood Video Sting
- LiveAction, Planned Parenthood Embark On Rival Bus Tours
- Krepel, Terry (2012-05-31). "Cutting Room Floor: Live Action Edited Out Adoption Discussion". Media Matters. Retrieved 2013-09-07.
- Sex-Selection in America: Part 1 — Undercover in Texas
- Sex-Selection in America: Part 4 — Undercover in Hawaii
- 2012 Arizona Revised Statutes - Title 13 Criminal Code
- Inhuman: Undercover in America's Late-Term Abortion Industry
- Inhuman: Washington, D.C., April 29, 2013
- Weekly Standard, April 29, 2013
- Slate, May 16, 2013
- House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Hearing: H.R. 1797, May 23, 2013
- Roll Call 251 on H.R. 1797