When your pregnancy is political

For any family, pregnancy raises a huge number of questions about bioethics and how public or private they want the experience to be. For Rose, these questions are washed through the additional layer of her professional identity. In a recent conversation, she told me that her pregnancy is about expanding her family and bringing life into the world. But it’s also a living testament to her political values. Rose found out she was pregnant around the same time that near-total abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri were making national headlines this spring. Newly pregnant and watching those debates unfold was “very personally painful,” Rose told me, “to look at the outright misinformation, and the way information is twisted by abortion advocates to try to further dehumanize human beings in the womb.”

Rose is a controversial figure. Her early activism involved posing as an underage prostitute and secretly recording her visit to a Planned Parenthood facility. (In a statement last fall, Planned Parenthood said that “Live Action has a history of doctoring video [and] making false claims, and has no credibility.”) More recently, she has pushed claims that are contested by medical groups and even other anti-abortion organizations, such as her assertion that “abortion is never medically necessary.”

I spoke with Rose about how pregnancy has—and has not—shifted her views about abortion, and how it is inspiring new approaches to her advocacy. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.