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 anti-abortion organization founded in 2003 by then 15 year-old Lila Rose. Live Action is known for its undercover videos taken at Planned Parenthood clinics.


In 2006, James O'Keefe met Lila Rose, founder of an anti-abortion group on the UCLA campus.[1] They recorded encounters in Planned Parenthood clinics.

David Daleiden met Lila Rose at a Junior State of America meeting, running the Live Action chapter at Claremont McKenna College in 2007, and was the organization’s director of research "during the early stages" of the project to make secret recordings of Planned Parenthood clinics.[2] Daleiden went on to create an organization called "Center for Medical Progress".[3][4]


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."[5]

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.[6] 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.[7][8]

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.[9][10]

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.[11] 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."[11]

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.[12] 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.[13][14][15]

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.[16] 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.[16]


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.[17]


  1. ^ Dewan, Shaila (February 26, 2010). "To Court Blacks, Foes of Abortion Make Racial Case". New York Times. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  2. ^ "Maker of Planned Parenthood Video Called Abortion 'Genocide'". The Daily Beast. 15 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Planned Parenthood: More Sting Videos Are Coming". Huffington Post. The CMP was founded by David Daleiden, an anti-abortion activist who previously worked for the group Live Action, known for its heavily edited undercover videos of Planned Parenthood staffers.
  4. ^ Fram, Alan (20 Jul 2015). "Planned Parenthood says video part of decadelong harassment". Archived from the original on July 22, 2015.
  5. ^ Hunter, Desiree (2010-02-10). "AP: Birmingham abortion clinic put on probation". Associated Press via The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  6. ^ "Planned Parenthood to retrain after anti-abortion group videos". CNN. February 9, 2011.
  7. ^ "Planned Parenthood Informs Federal Authorities of Potential Sex Trafficking".
  8. ^ "Planned Parenthood Seeks FBI Probe into Possible Ploy by Anti-Abortion Group".
  9. ^ Planned Parenthood fires worker caught on video. Retrieved February 16, 2017
  10. ^, the Atlanta Wire, John Hudson, February 2, 2011 Planned Parenthood Fires Manager After Undercover Video. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Inhuman: Late-Term Abortion - Live Action".
  13. ^ "Inhuman: Washington, D.C., April 29, 2013". Archived from the original on September 9, 2013. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  14. ^ John McCormack, Undercover Video: Abortion Doctor Says He'd Let Born-Alive Infants Choke to Death Weekly Standard, April 29, 2013
  15. ^ Travis, Shannon (May 1, 2013). "Anti-abortion group warns it has more controversial videos - CNNPolitics". CNN. CNN. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Saletan, William (16 May 2013). "How a Pro-Life Group Manipulated Video From an Abortion Clinic". Slate Magazine.
  17. ^ "'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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