Taking the “Moral” Out of “Moral Crusade”

by August 18, 2012
filed under Activism
Topics , ,

This pretty face put cameras in Planned Parenthood

If you’re ever at a dull party, try casually bringing up abortion. You’d be surprised how quickly things become interesting.

There are few issues as universally compelling — and divisive — as abortion. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is sure that theirs is undeniably and unequivocally right. Abortion brings together many issues that are controversial on their own — women’s rights, gender roles and religion, just to name a few — and throws them all together in a big stew of righteous rage. You’d be surprised how quickly your mild-mannered and open-minded friends become spigots of ill-informed rhetoric on one side of the fence or the other.

Lila Rose is one such spigot. Lila is a UCLA graduate, Catholic, home-schooled, angel-faced, and at the tender age of 24, she has found her life’s mission: To end the carnage that is controlled surgical abortion performed by fully trained doctors in a sanitary clinic setting for those who desire it. The humanity!

Lila is the founder and CEO of Live Action, a pro-life organization — or anti-choice, depending on the colour of your political stripes— dedicated to bringing down Planned Parenthood through subterfuge. Live Aid is best known for bringing hidden cameras into Planned Parenthood offices and catching employees there in any variety of rule-bending, then painting it as sex trafficking.

Lila and Live Action are lauded by some and derided by others for their shenanigans — sneaking cameras into Planned Parenthood clinics and filming until they get enough footage to edit and manipulate until it becomes something incriminating. Underneath her beatific gaze, Lila is certainly not opposed to striking a few low blows for her cause. I’m trying to stay open here, to see both sides of the argument — I even subjected myself to a Bill O’Reilly interview for the sake of getting the whole story — but I just find it hard to take this girl or her backwards, anti-feminist excuse for a cause seriously.

Lila and others like her need to accept that the abortion debate is done. It’s over. The pro-choicers won. And just like nobody has yet taken away a woman’s right to vote in North America, no one will take away her right to undergo a medical procedure that she feels is in her best interest. And if you don’t like it, well, then don’t get an abortion.

But here’s the weird thing: Even though Lila is many things I hate — narrow-minded, quick to accuse, elitist, and above all dishonest — she’s also a lot of what I want to be.

She’s intelligent, she’s a creative thinker, she’s committed to her cause and her hair has that glorious, glossy sheen you rarely see off of Jennifer Aniston’s head. She would make a great role model for impressionable young women — if her politics weren’t backward, dangerous and harmful to our reproductive rights.

Lila and Live Aid raise the oft-debated question: How far should you go for what you believe is right? Maybe a certain amount of deception is acceptable (the hidden camera). But when said deception doesn’t yield the results she wants, Lila supplements fact with fiction. She seems to see herself as a sort of Dark Knight of the pro-life cause: She uses questionable tactics — manipulation of fact at best, outright lies at worst — to attain her desired outcome. In her mind, the end justifies the means. But consider this Lila: If you have to lie to make your point, maybe your point isn’t worth making.

Plenty more can be said about Lila, and plenty has — mostly negative, as a quick Google search shows. Let this be a lesson to us all: Don’t leave your morals at home when embarking on a morality crusade.

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