Live Action (organization)

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Live Action
Live Action's Logo
FounderLila Rose
Type501(c)(3) non-profit
Focusanti-abortion activism
Area served
United States
Lila Rose

Live Action is an American nonprofit anti-abortion organization. Lila Rose founded and leads the group. Live Action is known for its undercover videos taken at Planned Parenthood clinics.


In 2003, at the age of 15, Rose founded Live Action and began giving presentations to schools and youth groups.[1] While a freshman at UCLA,[2] she partnered with conservative activist James O'Keefe to conduct undercover videos of abortion providers. They conducted their first undercover video in a Planned Parenthood clinic in 2007 in Los Angeles.[3]


Live Action President Lila Rose, alongside Rep. Jody Hice, at a February 2017 press conference calling for the end of taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood.

Undercover videos[edit]

In 2010, a sting by Live Action on a Birmingham, Alabama, 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."[4]

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.[5] 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.[6][7]

After the video releases, Planned Parenthood denied Live Action's allegations that they condone or support sexual slavery and statutory rape. They also fired one of the employees in question.[8][9]

In May 2012, Live Action released a video showing an employee at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, Texas advising a woman pretending to be pregnant and seeking an abortion if her fetus was female when she wanted a male (sex-selective abortion), that Planned Parenthood will not deny the woman an abortion no matter her reasons for wanting it.[10] After the video was released, Planned Parenthood stated that the staffer in the video "did not follow our protocol" for dealing with "a highly unusual patient scenario," fired the employee, and stated that "all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters."[10]

In the spring of 2013, Rose 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.[11] The video release coincided with intense media scrutiny of the ongoing Kermit Gosnell murder trial. These include a video where a Washington, D.C. abortion doctor, admits that he would let a child die if born alive during an abortion.[12][13][14]

Abortion-rights commentators have accused Live Action of editing the Inhuman videos in an intentionally misleading manner, although Live Action also provides full, unedited footage for public viewing.[15] William Saletan of Slate criticized Live Action's Inhuman videos as "orchestrated to embarrass doctors and their clinics" and edited to take out footage "showing the true complexity of abortion and the people who do it" in a video showing some of the unused clips.[15]


Live Action has advocated to deny federal and state funding to Planned Parenthood.[16][17][18]

Following Live Action's release of undercover videos in Planned Parenthood clinics, the U.S. House of Representatives approved in February 2011 an amendment by Republican Rep. Mike Pence to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood.[19][20]

Social media[edit]

Live Action has the largest social media presence of any nonprofit anti-abortion organization. The organization has been subject to restrictions from multiple social media platforms.[21]

In 2017, Twitter restricted Live Action from advertising on the platform, flagging Live Action's content as "sensitive."[22] In June 2019, Pinterest permanently banned Live Action for spreading "harmful misinformation, [which] includes medical misinformation and conspiracies that turn individuals and facilities into targets for harassment or violence," following allegations by Live Action that Pinterest had restricted its content by placing it on a list of "blocked pornography sites," per a whistleblower at the social media platform. Pinterest did not specify which Live Action content prompted the ban.[23] In August 2019, Live Action sent cease and-desist letters to Pinterest and YouTube alleging discrimination in suppressing Live Action content and videos.[24] That same month, Facebook fact-checkers marked as "false" two Live Action videos that stated "abortion is never medically necessary." After Live Action and a group of Republican senators challenged this move as politically motivated censorship, an internal review took place and Facebook retracted the false markers on the videos.[25][26]

On January 30, 2020, video-sharing social networking service TikTok banned Live Action's channel "due to multiple Community Guidelines violations" after the group posted a video of a woman choosing between a pro-life and pro-choice pill, a meme derived from the film The Matrix. By the next day, TikTok restored Live Action's account, calling the block a "mistake" based on "human error by a moderator."[27]


In May 2019, Live Action members held a protest in Philadelphia to rally against alleged harassment of abortion rights opponents by Representative Brian Sims in videos he made and published online.[28]


  1. ^ Abcarian, Robin (April 26, 2009). "Anti-abortion movement gets a new-media twist". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Carl, Katy (February 13, 2007). "Undercover and Over Obstacles — All for the Unborn". National Catholic Register.
  3. ^ Rose, Lila (October 2010). "Fighting for Life". First Things.
  4. ^ Hunter, Desiree (2010-02-10). "AP: Birmingham abortion clinic put on probation". Associated Press via The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  5. ^ "Planned Parenthood to retrain after anti-abortion group videos". CNN. February 9, 2011.
  6. ^ "Planned Parenthood Informs Federal Authorities of Potential Sex Trafficking".
  7. ^ "Planned Parenthood Seeks FBI Probe into Possible Ploy by Anti-Abortion Group".
  8. ^ Planned Parenthood fires worker caught on video. Retrieved February 16, 2017
  9. ^, the Atlanta Wire, John Hudson, February 2, 2011 Planned Parenthood Fires Manager After Undercover Video. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Bassett, Laura (2012-05-29). "Planned Parenthood Sting Caught On Video, Released By Anti-Abortion Activists". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 2019-11-05. Retrieved 2020-01-24. Suggesting that she wants to have an abortion if the fetus turns out to be a girl, the visitor asks the staffer how soon she can detect the gender with an ultrasound. “The abortion covers you up until 23 weeks, and usually at 5 months is usually when they detect, you know, whether or not it’s a boy or a girl,” the Planned Parenthood staffer explains. The staffer answers all of the woman’s questions honestly and makes it clear that Planned Parenthood will not deny the woman an abortion despite her reasons for wanting to have one. ... A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman told The Huffington Post on Tuesday the staffer in the video "did not follow our protocol" for dealing with "a highly unusual patient scenario." ... "Within three days of this patient interaction, the staff member’s employment was ended and all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters.
  11. ^ "Inhuman: Late-Term Abortion - Live Action".
  12. ^ "Inhuman: Washington, D.C., April 29, 2013". Archived from the original on September 9, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  13. ^ John McCormack, Undercover Video: Abortion Doctor Says He'd Let Born-Alive Infants Choke to Death Weekly Standard, April 29, 2013
  14. ^ Travis, Shannon (May 1, 2013). "Anti-abortion group warns it has more controversial videos - CNNPolitics". CNN. CNN. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Saletan, William (16 May 2013). "How a Pro-Life Group Manipulated Video From an Abortion Clinic". Slate Magazine.
  16. ^ "Planned Parenthood reports record-high abortions, taxpayer funding amid battles with Republicans". Fox News. January 7, 2020.
  17. ^ "Abortion foes: Plenty of evidence to defund Planned Parenthood". Washington Examiner. June 23, 2016.
  18. ^ "Pro-life movement urges Congress to defund Planned Parenthood immediately". Washington Times. September 5, 2017.
  19. ^ Nocera, Kate; Nather, David (February 18, 2011). "House defunds Planned Parenthood". Politico. Retrieved 2020-09-24. Pence took his fight against Planned Parenthood to the next level after the release of a series of videos by the group Live Action –videos that they say show Planned Parenthood employees advising actors posing as pimps on information on how to get abortions, STD testing and birth control for their underage prostitutes.
  20. ^ Eckholm, Erik (February 17, 2011). "Planned Parenthood Financing Is Caught in Budget Feud". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-09-24. Planned Parenthood’s role as a major abortion provider has long provoked fierce opposition, but this month its opponents broadened their attacks, seeking to discredit the organization by linking it to the sexual exploitation of minors. A group called Live Action, which has repeatedly taken aim at Planned Parenthood and receives support from conservative foundations, released undercover videotapes in which clinic employees are seen answering questions from a man posing as a sex trafficker. Planned Parenthood says the tapes are misleading, that an errant staff member was fired and that its affiliates reported the encounters to law enforcement.
  21. ^ "TikTok restores pro-life group's account, blames 'human error' for ban". The Christian Post. February 2, 2020.
  22. ^ "Yes, Twitter can reject this anti-abortion group's ads for displaying 'sensitive content'". The Washington Post. September 22, 2017.
  23. ^ "Pinterest Has Banned The Massively Popular Anti-Abortion Group Live Action". BuzzFeed News. June 11, 2019.
  24. ^ "Pro-Life Group Sends Cease-and-Desist Letters to YouTube, Pinterest Alleging Censorship". National Review. September 6, 2019.
  25. ^ "Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism". The Hill. September 12, 2019.
  26. ^ "Live Action slams Facebook after investigation finds fact-check of abortion claim was 'fair and accurate'". Fox News. September 27, 2020.
  27. ^ "TikTok restores pro-life group's account, blames 'human error' for ban". National Review. January 31, 2020.
  28. ^ "'We Will Not Back Down To Bullies': Anti-Abortion Rally Outside Philadelphia Planned Parenthood Draws Large Crowd". CBS Philadelphia. May 10, 2019.

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