Lila Rose to hostile BBC interviewer: The right to life should not be up for a vote

Live Action president and founder Lila Rose recently appeared on the BBC’s HARDtalk, speaking with host Stephen Sackur about abortion laws in the United States, the idea that there should be no exceptions allowing abortion, and what Americans want. Sackur began the interview by claiming that it must be “a big problem” for Rose that most Americans want to see abortion treated as a right in the U.S. He pointed to a May 2023 Gallup poll as proof of this. Rose, however, pointed out the truth.

“Well to be clear,” said Rose, “the majority of Americans actually support abortion restrictions, Stephen, which is not the case for pro-abortion activists in this country [U.S.].”

The Gallup poll Sackur mentioned actually shows that 51% of Americans polled in 2023 wanted abortion restrictions — with 55% being against abortion in the second trimester, and 70% being against abortion in the third trimester.

Rose continued, “So those that are bewailing the overturning of Roe v. Wade — and Planned Parenthood and some of these very activistic pro-abortion groups — they don’t want any abortion restrictions. And as you know, even in most European countries, abortion is largely restricted after the first trimester. That’s not so in the United States. In fact, most states in the United States don’t have those sorts of abortion restrictions.”

Rose added, “So I think there’s a misunderstanding that some folks have in media that Roe v. Wade [being overturned] somehow banned all abortions… That’s simply not the case. In my state of California, abortion is legal through all nine months of pregnancy, virtually for any reason. So the pro-life movement is working hard right now to combat the misinformation and to enact restrictions to protect preborn lives.”

“Certain human rights should not be up for democratic votes”

Sackur continued to argue that most Americans don’t believe abortion should be banned, stating that the legality of abortion should be up to the voters. Rose then pointed out that no innocent human’s right to life should be on a ballot.

“There’s two important points here, Stephen. If I may, first of all… certain human rights should not be up for democratic votes — so my right to live, my right to not be killed, your right to live, your right to not be killed. A group of folks voting democratically on whether or not innocent Stephen should die, that’s not their right — and we say the same for preborn children in the womb.”

Rose then noted that preborn children are humans. “The science is clear that at the moment of fertilization, you have a unique, individual human life. … If we believe that human rights are universal, that they’re inalienable, that they’re for all humans, then that must extend to children even before birth.”

Sackur claimed that the pro-life movement in the United States wants the issue of whether or not to protect preborn human beings to remain with voters in each state. But Rose pointed out:

Stephen, the pro-life position is not that democracy or any group of people should vote whether or not a preborn child should live or die or should be up for the choice to be aborted — because we believe in their fundamental human right to life, which is the first human right. So this idea that the pro-life movement wants different people to vote state by state on which children can live and which children can die is simply not the case. We think all children deserve the right to life as all humans do.

Imagine if democracies were voting on whether things like sexual assault was okay or whether child abuse was okay. These certain fundamental moral wrongs and human rights issues are not up for democracies to decide.

“Massive misinformation”

Rose argued that well-funded pro-abortion groups are sending “massive misinformation” to voters, including that miscarriage care would be banned and that women will die without abortion — and that these lies are making people fearful.

Sackur then mentioned an exact case — that of Amanda Zurawski — that the media used to mislead Americans about abortion laws. Zurawski is one of the women behind a lawsuit against the state of Texas and its pro-life law, and Sackur pointed to her story as tragic — and accused Rose of not having compassion for the woman.

Sackur advanced the lie that Zurawski needed an abortion — a procedure that would intentionally kill her baby — when her water broke at 18 weeks pregnant due to an incompetent cervix. He said that Texas doctors wouldn’t give her “the medical care she needed” because of the pro-life law, and that it resulted in her going into septic shock.

“Clearly,” he snarked at Rose, “you don’t empathize with her.”

Rose fired back:

You misunderstand and you’re misreporting that case, Stephen.

What happened in that case is that in the state of Texas, if there is a medical emergency then early delivery may be permitted and that’s what the state law says. And the reality is, in many cases where the water begins to break there can be bedrest, there can be situations where there’s continued care and monitoring and that baby could have been delivered so… there’s a lot of misinformation swirling by pro-abortion groups who are trying to fearmonger women and try to tell women that they need abortion, they need abortion to survive when the reality is in medical care — and this is the opinion not of myself but the opinion of thousands of medical experts and obstetricians and gynecologists — there are ways to care for both mother and her child and you do not need to intentionally kill the baby in these high-risk situations.

You may need to do an early delivery and that can be done and it is permitted in Texas.

Rose added, “So you can bring up these very tragic cases that unfortunately have a lot of misinformation associated with them that are designed to scare women, but the reality is that’s not the state of the law in Texas and that’s not the state of the pro-life position either.”

Induced abortion — intentionally killing the child — is not the standard of care for incompetent cervix and preterm labor. There are treatments that doctors could have offered to Zurawski, but they appear to have failed to do so. This points to possible medical negligence on the part of the medical professionals attending to Zurawski and her baby, and this is not due to the boundaries set by the pro-life law. Read more about Zurawski’s story here.

The right to life “comes first”

Rose was clear with Sackur that innocent human beings should not be deprived of their right to life under the U.S. Constitution regardless of the situation surrounding their mother. She explained:

The Fourteenth Amendment to our Constitution in the United States says we all have the right to equal protection, all persons have right to equal protection under the law and that no state has the right to deprive anyone of their life, property, or anything without due process. But life is first.

The pro-life position is — when you talk about this federal legal protection, federal ban on abortion — the pro-life position is yes, you should be federally protected, your right to live is the most fundamental human right. It comes first.

You can’t enjoy any other right without the right to live, to not be killed by lethal violence when you’re innocent. that is what the Fourteenth Amendment promises.

The conversation with Sackur also allowed Rose to set the record straight on IVF, including the Alabama Supreme Court ruling regarding human embryos (which dealt with allowing parents to sue for the wrongful destruction of their embryos), and U.S. politics in regard to abortion, including Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. Listen to the powerful exchange here.

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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