Calmly and confidently. Unashamedly and unapologetically.
Those four words describe Live Action founder Lila Rose’s temperament and tone throughout this past Monday’s spirited exchange with Dr. Phil, along with audience members of his popular television talk show.
Invited on the program to ostensibly debate life in a post-Roe America, the deck was clearly and decidedly stacked against the pro-life stalwart. But no matter. Rose, who started Live Action when she was just fifteen years old, held her ground, challenging the host and enduring insults from the crowd.
“Dr. Phil’s team chose to center the entire show around an extremely tragic case of a mother whose baby had a fetal anomaly that was life threatening,” Rose would later comment. “They made the focus of the episode her story, that she was ‘forced’ to birth the baby instead of abort because of pro-life laws.”
“‘Carry my baby to bury my baby,’ was the line used,” she added. “What they never acknowledged is that abortion kills a baby and that the baby would still need to be buried – or thrown away in medical waste. The reality is abortion doesn’t solve or heal or any problem— it only kills a baby.”
Dr. Phil and Lila also sparred over when life begins.
“There is no consensus amongst the scientific community,” the host insisted. “The scientific community does not have a consensus about when life begins.”
“There is, Dr. Phil,” Rose countered. “96% of scientists say that life begins at fertilization. If you’re an in-vitro specialist, you’re looking to create a single-cell embryo, then you know you have a human life, so it is a scientific fact.”
When an audience member accused Rose of wanting to “legislate evil” for opposing the abortion of a child conceived by a ten-year-old rape victim, the Live Action president listened intently – and then responded.
“Abortion is devastating to women’s mental health,” Rose answered. “No one talks about that … The trauma is from the rape. The child is an innocent party there.”
The Dr. Phil – Lila Rose exchange from this past Monday represents a snapshot of the broader and deepening cultural divide on life. Few of us will ever be invited to debate or discuss the sanctity of life on national television – but all of us are or will be facing a form of this conversation in our families, workplace, church, or neighborhood. Some may want to run from it – but soon nobody will be able to hide.
In her style and substance of her delivery, Lila Rose was putting on a clinic, of a sort. When it comes to discussing the profoundly moral issue of life, there is no room for equivocation. As Christians, especially, we must defend pre-born life. It’s not political – it’s biblical.
Lila Rose didn’t raise her voice. Polite, measured and sober-minded, she simply shared the facts, all the while acknowledging the emotional feelings that accompany the issue.
Despite such a charge dripping with irony, when she was accused of perpetuating evil, she didn’t respond in kind. She focused on the irrefutable reality of the innocent baby.
Lila Rose also likely didn’t expect to “win” over Dr. Phil or the studio audience. Instead, she accepted the invitation because it was an opportunity to sow some seeds – and help save lives by challenging people to think about the issue differently. She wasn’t thinking short-term, but long. Some in the audience tried to shame her, but she stood up to them – and simply brought forth the message without apology.
Stepping into such a hostile setting, Rose wasn’t concerned about being liked or loved. She recognizes that holding to a pro-life point of view these days may not win you any points or popularity contests with the cultural elites. But it’s the right thing to do.
Don’t believe the lies of the Left that the pro-life movement is tired and old. In fact, it’s a diverse body of devoted champions including people like Lila Rose – a former homeschooled girl now married mother who is helping to show the way to saving more innocent lives than ever before.