Colorado Christian University’s Western Conservative Summit has announced that noted anti-abortion activist Lila Rose will be speaking live at their venue this weekend.
Rose is the founder and president of Live Action, a nonprofit dedicated to online anti-abortion messaging, which was permanently banned from Pinterest for spreading “harmful misinformation.” She is also the host of the podcast “The Lila Rose Show,” and the author of “Fighting for Life: Becoming a Force for Change in a Wounded World.”
Rose’s work is centered around fighting against abortion, which she has called “the greatest human rights abuse in America.”
Previously, Rose has compared abortion to slavery and the Holocaust, writing on Facebook that all three “were … fueled by perpetrators declaring their innocent victims ‘not people.’” Her concern with racial justice seems to begin and end with denying abortions to people in need.
Rose’s comments were later echoed by Jeff Hunt in an op-ed with the Washington Times. Hunt is the director of Colorado Christian Univerity’s Centennial Institute, which sponsors the Western Conservative Summit every year.
In an op-ed from last summer criticizing Hunt’s piece, Dani Newsum, who is the regional outreach associate for Cobalt Advocates (a leading Colorado nonprofit for reproductive rights), accurately deconstructed arguments tying abortion to slavery:
“And like antebellum enslavers who considered the human beings they owned to be their property — backed up at the time by state and federal law — Hunt considers pregnant people to be pregnant property upon whom he and the government are entitled to force obedience. He dehumanizes them the way slave owners did.”
When Lila Rose is not too busy fighting to restrict bodily autonomy, she also has been known to make virulent transphobic comments. For instance, in a recent tweet, she expressed her anger about the children’s show “Blue’s Clues,” which showcased transgender and nonbinary characters for Pride Month this year:
Ostensibly, this is all for the sake of protecting children from indoctrination. Such rhetoric is commonplace in anti-LGBTQ discourse. While Rose and many others seek to demonize trans identity as mental illness, the scientific community knows otherwise; various studies have found that gender-affirming treatment has a positive impact on children’s mental health.
Additionally, Rose’s reference to “an agenda” calls to the idea of a powerful, shadowy “trans lobby” that is funding these programs — another hallmark of transphobic rhetoric. While these comments make trans people seem inordinately powerful, and can even inspire fear and hatred of a marginalized group, any evidence for the “trans lobby” remains nebulous at best.
Lila Rose will be joined at the summit by (among many others) Victor Davis Hanson, who recently posted an article on American Greatness hypothesizing that COVID-19 was a Chinese bioweapon (a racist theory that has been used as pretext for anti-Asian violence across the U.S.); Frank Gaffney Jr., who the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as “one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes”; and elected GOP officials such as U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO).