Truth detector

"Truth detector" Continued...

Rose put the undercover videos on YouTube, and Planned Parenthood threatened to sue her for $5,000 for each offense and bring to bear other civil and legal penalties. She remembers sitting in her college dorm room, reading the threat from Planned Parenthood, and thinking in complete shock, "I don't even have $200 in my bank account."

But Planned Parenthood's threats only garnered more attention for Rose's investigation. Thousands around the United States watched the videos. Bill O'Reilly interviewed Rose, and soon Fox and CBS ran stories on the investigation. Planned Parenthood never sued Rose but tried to prevent her from conducting any other investigations by posting her picture in many of their clinics.

While many Christians applauded Rose's work, others expressed concern about the deception inherent in her investigative work. In the Witherspoon Institute's journal Public Discourse, Christopher Tollefson argued that Live Action's work could compromise the pro-life movement by using falsehood: "The way in which Live Action has made its mark is itself extremely troubling, for it is predicated on a form of falsity."

Princeton professor Robert George wrote that Live Action's well-intentioned work should not use deception: "What we fight for is just and true, and truth-in its unparalleled splendor and luminosity-is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal." Boston College professor Peter Kreeft, though, argued that if Live Action is wrong, so is spying, "including spying out the Nazis' atomic bomb projects and saving the world from a nuclear holocaust."

Rose contends that undercover work is chronicled throughout the Bible. She points to Rahab and the Israelite spies, and to the Hebrew midwives who protected innocents by lying to Pharaoh, as examples of those who lied for a worthy cause. When considering these examples, as well as the urgency of the cause, Rose has no moral qualms with undercover work.

One summer Rose purchased police-quality equipment and ran a multi-level investigation throughout Indiana, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. In order to disguise herself, Rose spent three hours at a salon, steeping her dark brunette hair in bleach.

She walked into the Planned Parenthood in flip-flops, glasses, and Hannah Montana clothing, trying to disguise herself as a 13-year-old. While she was sitting in the waiting room, two women walked in. They were sisters; one woman was pregnant, and the other had brought her two children. While the two sisters talked, the little girl and her brother played with toys on the floor.

Rose turned to the pregnant woman and asked, "What are you here for?"

"An abortion," she replied.

Rose asked, "Why don't we just leave, and go talk to those people outside?" (Sidewalk counselors stood outside the clinic.)

"Stop talking to me," the woman said, staring at the ground.

At that moment, the little girl dropped her toys and walked over to her aunt. She jumped up on her aunt's lap and cuddled close to her abdomen. Two cousins were separated by inches of flesh.

Rose stared at the little girl and remembered Mary and Elizabeth's meeting while pregnant with Jesus and John the Baptist. Both women faced unexpected pregnancies, but both embraced their babies with joy and thanksgiving.

The contrast between Mary and Elizabeth and the two women in that abortion clinic inspired Rose to name her investigation the "Mona Lisa Project." ("Mona" is another name for Mary, and "Lisa" for Elizabeth.) Her videos documented Planned Parenthood staffers violating mandatory reporting laws for statutory rape. They were the beginning of Live Action's national investigation program.

Rose throughout her college years juggled investigative work, class schedules, traveling, and interviews but still graduated. Live Action has now conducted seven investigations on Planned Parenthood. Its last investigation, released this spring, featured an actor posing as a pimp. When the actor asked for birth control and abortion services for his underage sex workers, Planned Parenthood staffers helped him instead of reporting him.

But as Rose and her team prepared to release the tapes, Planned Parenthood notified the FBI of some of the pimp's visits. Rose spent the next five weeks living in a Washington, D.C., hotel, working frantically to release the tapes. She slept 12 hours in that first week. Forcing her eyelids open, drinking coffee, and thriving on prayer, Rose prepared each video and participated in interviews with Fox, CNN, and CBS. The investigation received press criticism but also led the New Jersey attorney general to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood leaders have not threatened to sue Rose since that first investigation-they recognize that this only draws more attention to Live Action's work. But when Live Action's videos pushed Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, the organization prompted thousands of its supporters to petition Congress and say that the videos were "misleading" and "dirty tricks."


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