Challenges & Solutions For Post-Roe America | Lila Rose at the 2022 Life Awards Gala


Welcome to the 2022 Life Awards Gala. And to the post-Roe v. Wade era. 

Together, together, because of many of you in the room tonight, together we made the impossible, possible.

But we are just getting started. We are just getting started. 

It is a joy and an honor to be with you all tonight. We have almost 500 people in this room. Thank you for showing up for life, for showing up for the most vulnerable. There are so many special, amazing leaders. We’re going to have an amazing program. And this is going to be a pivotal year in this coming year in our post-Roe America, in our movement, to make incredible progress in the fight for human lives. And all of you, thank you. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your dedication.

And I’m so excited to be here with you as we chart this course together for the post-Roe America. 

I have a question for everyone in this room.

What do you think of when you hear the word “opportunity”?

Maybe you recently had the opportunity to visit with family or to make a difference at your place of work.

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “limitless opportunity”?

Limitless opportunity is rare and unique.

A limitless opportunity means that if you can take full advantage of what is in front of you, then your entire life can change. The lives of your family can change. And maybe even you can make a difference in the lives of every single person in the entire world.

That’s limitless opportunity.

My dear friends, we are living in a time of truly limitless opportunity when it comes to protecting the fundamental human rights of every single person and ending abortion. 

Last year at the Live Action gala, I told you, it is probable that the Supreme Court, with a pro-life majority, sympathetic justices will uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban. And if they do, it would cut at the heart of Roe v. Wade, empowering more states to also pass abortion bans.

Well, the Supreme Court did not only cut at the heart of Roe. It struck Roe down, it wiped Roe out, and after 50 long years of killing, Roe is gone.

You helped make it happen. 

They say that politics– I’m sure you’ve heard this– that politics is the art of the possible. Well, that’s wrong.

Politics is the art of defining what’s possible.

They told us it was impossible, and they were wrong. Every one of you, every one of you who invested in Live Action and our movement, some of you for over a decade or for decades, you helped make the impossible, possible.

And of course, one woman is with us tonight who played a vital role in that historic victory. Attorney General Fitch, can you stand one more time? We need to cheer for you one more time.

And another hero and 2021 Life Awardee winner that we are privileged to have here with us tonight is First Amendment hero and my dear friend, David Deleiden. His pioneering work exposing the abortion industry has helped us shift the culture. Thank you, David.

And one more hero here tonight that I like to recognize is a dear friend, a very wise mentor, and a Live Action Board Member. And his visionary leadership laid the innovative legal foundation that overturned the most horrific Supreme Court case in United States history. Alan Sears, founder of Alliance Defending Freedom. Please stand up and let us cheer for you. Thank you so much, Alan. Thank you, Alan. Thank you, Alan. And ADF, thank you. Thank you, Alan. 

Friends, the hour is late. And so, in our time together, let’s focus on three things: our opportunity, our challenge, and our path to victory.

As I speak, our path to victory is being paved by the relentless work of your Live Action, which is only possible because of your dedicated partnership. We stand here today not waiting anymore for what is to come. Instead, we are here with the heavy responsibility of making the most of the limitless opportunity right in front of us. We are now living in a time where completely ending abortion is possible with our relentless effort. It is probable. And with your partnership, it is in near certainty.

The challenge for everyone in this room tonight is to answer the call of opportunity, to act on the responsibility of our opportunity. The limitless opportunity in front of us demands an eager and ambitious vision, a vision of a nation and America where every child, not just some, is protected from the violence of abortion, and a country that is the most welcoming place in the world to raise a family.

We have experienced an era-defining victory at the Supreme Court. But the reality is, our work has just begun.

Though we may not want to hear it in practical terms, the end of Roe means that our work must intensify.

There can be an impulse to say: “it’s over, it’s done.” 50 years of fighting might do that to you. I was speaking with a dear friend recently, and she told me, “Lila, Roe v. Wade is overturned. You really should take a break, maybe a few months or even a year.”

And listen, I have two beautiful redheaded little boys. I have the best husband, but my husband–yay, Joe, yes–but my husband and I know this fight is a fight for their future. And so, how I replied to my friend is my message to you now. Our work has just begun.

Now is not the time to take a break. We must double-down on the cause for human life with the zeal of a convert.

Limitless opportunity is often camouflaged in what looks like a daunting challenge. Overcoming challenges is what forges legitimate, lasting, overwhelming change.

Decades from now, when we look back at this moment in time, we will see a moment of transition when the oppressive yoke of an illegitimate Supreme Court decision was finally removed.

But the limitless opportunity before us will be meaningless if we do not take bold and decisive action to overcome the daunting challenges before us and turn our limitless opportunity into unimaginable victory.

Our opportunity now is one that generations fought and sacrificed for, but here’s the truth. Before June of this year, Americans had an excuse for why we had not ended the barbaric and evil practice of human abortion. We could simply say the Supreme Court says we can’t, our hands are tied.

That excuse is gone now. If we fail now, if we fail to save our youngest children from the cold and violent death of the abortionist’s tools, that failure is on us. It’s on all of us in this room tonight.

The limitless opportunity that we have is so exciting and beautiful, but it must make us pause.

And then it must make us take bolder action than we could have ever imagined.

We have been entrusted with the opportunity of a lifetime and for to whom much is given, as our Lord says, much is required.

It’s all on us now, no excuses. We are in the fight of our lives. If you didn’t know that our fight is just getting started, welcome to sunny California.

I love my state. We’re here in Dana Point. You saw our magnificent Pacific Ocean. We have beaches. We have mountains, but we have problems, major problems. We are here today in a state that once epitomized the opportunity of America, the American dream.

But here today, on the very ground we walk upon, California has never been more hostile to the human right to life, more hostile to life in the womb, more dangerous to our preborn brothers and sisters. As my own governor has said, California is a sanctuary for the killing of preborn children. He is flying– using your tax dollars to fly mothers in from across the country, not to care for their children in California, but to kill their children in California.

In November, Californians will vote on Proposition 1, which would codify the right to kill a preborn child up until the moment of birth into our state constitution. If you live in the Golden State, I urge you to show up and vote your conscience this November.

The truth is, post-Roe California looks worse than pre-Roe California.

That’s because even though Roe is overturned, many states have continued to expand and even subsidize the killing of our nation’s most vulnerable.

California, Illinois, Oregon, New York, the list goes on. The killing in these states continues, some even up until the moment of birth, and in some cases, tragically, even after.

Since the end of Roe, we have also seen new challenges arise and proliferate. Misinformation regarding abortion and the human right to life is thriving like never before.

On daytime television, well-established doctors with very impressive mustaches are declaring that we don’t know when life begins.

They don’t know when life begins. I just spoke to one last week. But it isn’t just one lone doctor.

It’s not just one. It’s entire media networks. It’s the New York Times. It’s the FDI. It’s major corporations and universities. It’s even big tech intent on censoring the pro-life viewpoint. It’s the institutions that control the commanding heights of what we believe.

Live Action is on the front lines, fighting the information war with truthful and winsome content.

Yes, great challenges persist. And the need for our activism has never been greater. But we can take heart.

You see, daunting challenges are really limitless opportunity in disguise.

Since the end of Roe, on June 24, we have seen amazing progress. We have seen children born and lives saved. At least 43 abortion clinics in 12 states have already stopped offering abortions. 12 states. 12 states. 12 states have already enacted complete protections for human life, banning abortion with very limited or no exceptions, including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia. 

This map should be all colored in.

In 2020, these states accounted for over 90,000 abortions annually. That’s an average of about 8,200 children killed by abortion every month.

Thousands of children have been saved since June 24, the day that Roe v. Wade was overturned. Thousands.

Every life saved is a miracle.

But we have not embraced limitless opportunity until every single child is protected. There are still thousands of children daily being poisoned by the abortion pill or dismembered with blades and clamps across our nation.

It’s clear we have a long way to go to make abortion unthinkable in our nation.

To achieve victory in the fight for life, we must look at our historic success this year and know what to do as we move forward to win.

Thanks to you, we are reaching millions each week. Each week, we’re educating about 15 million people with the most winsome and engaging pro-life content. Those we educate are mostly millennials and Gen Zers. And of the millennials and Gen Zers that we reach, most of them are young women who are the prime target of the abortion industry. These young women and men see Live Action’s videos, they read Live Actions’ articles, and they view our social media content, whether it’s TikTok or YouTube or Instagram. They take our online courses, they attend our online trainings, webinars and events, and engage with our emails and texts. 

The content we create saves lives. We distribute and we create world-class content that is the most persuasive tool to change hearts and minds on abortion.

This year, we launched a video campaign called What Is Abortion? Featuring four former female abortionists who explained the four most common types of abortion procedures using cutting edge medical animation. When a pregnant mother considering abortion sees a video showing her the humanity of her preborn child, her eyes can open.

After watching these videos, 46% of pro-choice women said they viewed abortion more negatively.

And 19% of pro-choice women said abortion should never be legal.

Can you imagine a resource that powerful?

After watching the video, nearly 20% of the women who self-identified as pro-choice changed their mind and said abortion should never be legal. These resources exist, and they exist because of you. In just the last two months, these videos have been viewed over five million times.

We not only see the data, but we hear stories. One woman we recently surveyed told us, quote, “My niece did not have an abortion because of all the educational content from Live Action that I was sharing on social media. The abortion industry puts out lies luring young girls in. Those lies are defeated by the truth shared by Live Action.”

She’s right. The truth that you empower us to share defeats the lies of the abortion industry. It defeats the lies of the media. It defeats the despair that a culture of death targets at young mothers and fathers.

Another young woman between the ages of 18 and 24 responded to our survey saying, “My younger sister was deciding whether to keep her baby because she was going to be a single mother. I sent her multiple articles, posts, and stories from Live Action, and she changed her mind to keep her baby, and now she is happier than ever.”

These two stories represent thousands. But to win this fight, they need to represent millions.

Live Action is leading the nation with a strategy to win the country for life, using lessons from past success, but also innovating to ensure we are equipped for this new stage of our struggle.

Roe v. Wade is finished, and we have limitless opportunity in front of us. Let’s talk about the plan. Here is the game plan for the road ahead: We must expose, inspire, and activate.

One: expose. Expose the evil of abortion. We must show the victim of abortion, the innocent child, the harm that abortion does to mothers, fathers, and society, and expose the industry that profits from their deaths.

Two: inspire. Inspire the good. We must show the beauty of life and celebrate motherhood, fatherhood, and family.

And three: activate for victory. We must activate the nation for political and cultural change.

Exposing the evil in front of us means understanding that Planned Parenthood is spending $50 million just this fall to promote its vicious, anti-human agenda on TV and digital media.

By comparison, Live Action is the pro-life leader in digital and out-of-home pro-life advertising worldwide. But our total annual budget is currently only $15 million.

While our dollars go further, and while our message is more persuasive in order to change hearts and minds, we need the capital to actually reach people’s eyes and ears.

It’s past time to up our spend.

By investing with us, you are investing in a provable outcome.

By exposing the truth, Live Action content inspires people to change. Our content and messaging has also been statistically proven by best-in-class market research to change hearts and minds, to change people from pro-choice to pro-life. You can help create an awakening in people. When people learn the truth, they change. This opportunity is waiting for us to seize it.

Once someone has the heart and mind shift, they must be activated. And we must equip thousands more pro-life activists with the tools to educate their communities, schools, and churches. Another crucial way we must activate for victory is by working for complete legal protection for preborn children. We must work with government at all levels to enact policies that value all human lives and protect parents and their children. Last month, I was privileged to be with 40 of the most promising state lawmakers from 20 states for Live Action’s first ever Lawmakers Summit. We are equipping them to win the fight for life, state by state.

The government also has a role to play in making America a friendlier place to raise a family. We are equipping lawmakers to not only ban abortion, but to craft common sense policy to invest in the American family and make it clear that our country values having a family and children as crucial responsibilities that are worthy of public support.

Our narrative-shaping public education campaigns are ongoing. Imminently, we will be releasing Can’t Stay Silent.

Through this campaign, Live Action is amplifying voices that need to be heard. Abortion is devastating for the mental health of the mothers who go through it. Can’t Stay Silent will share never before seen, heart wrenching personal testimonies on video from mothers and fathers who have suffered the traumatic effects of abortion. This report will document the facts and statistics around post-abortion trauma, regret, and the physical harm of abortion. It’s a multimedia experience that has never been done before and includes analysis of the metadata surrounding post-abortion trauma interspersed with the real stories of mothers who have experienced it. Can’t Stay Silent will also be a powerful platform to promote post-abortion healing resources that exist that few families even know about.

Can’t Stay Silent will help mothers and fathers heal from the horror of abortion and inspire women facing unplanned pregnancies to the bravery they need to protect their children.

Our truly groundbreaking work educating on the facts of human development in the womb must also continue. Last year we released, we introduced you to Baby Olivia. Going forward, we are building on that momentum by unveiling Along For The Ride, which you saw a sneak peek of earlier. Along For The Ride and future videos in the works like it are a vital step for Live Action in narrative storytelling that show the humanity of the preborn child. Many more video campaigns and even documentary films are also in the works. I am also thrilled to announce a project that’s truly unique to our movement and to this moment.

If there are any mothers in the room who are expecting or have recently had a baby–I, at the last two Live Action galas, was very pregnant. This is actually the first one that I’m not pregnant at.

Maybe you downloaded an app to your phone to help track the milestones of your pregnancy. On these apps, they often show fruit or cartoons or even baked goods to demonstrate the imagery of the baby at certain milestones of development so you track the baby’s growth. Well, these apps are not cutting it. Our team is working on translating the most medically accurate and realistic depictions of human life, as we see in Baby Olivia, into an app for your phone. My baby, day by day, will show you a new life-like, medically accurate 3D image of your baby at every single day–changes every day of your pregnancy as the baby grows. 

Tracking her changes and illustrating her humanity from day one. Our upcoming campaigns to expose, inspire, and activate can offer leadership that can help change this nation.

In the early years when I was just starting Live Action, a longtime movement leader took me aside and gave me some advice. They told me that they were proud of my activism, that I was making a difference. But ultimately, I should understand, adjust my, I don’t know, expectations, and recognize that America was a sinking ship. Our culture was too far gone. It’s too broken. Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned. And the ship will sink.

They saw a daunting challenge, and they declared defeat.

What poverty of imagination–fatalism at its finest. They were wrong.

We won’t go down with this ship, because we will right the ship. And through treacherous waters, we will sail the ship to victory.

And we can do this because we trust in a God that does the impossible. 

Remember, remember, we are in a time of limitless opportunity. Do we have the bravery, the strategy, the tenacity to take advantage of it?

May we never forget our sacred responsibility, the children that we advocate for who cannot speak for themselves.

By lending your voice, by giving sacrificially, you stand in between the child and violent death.

With the relentless passion that can only be accessed for a righteous cause, and with the help of our almighty God, we will act on our limitless opportunity. We will embrace our God-given responsibility. We will create a culture and live in a nation where every child is welcomed as the precious gift they are. We can only do this together.

You made the impossible possible. Now let’s do it again. Thank you.