An estimated 150 students at Westmont College in Santa Barbara walked out of a planned event on February 6 featuring speaker Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action. Rose’s pro-life speech — encouraging students on the Christian campus to speak out and work against abortion — was part of the school’s chapel service, a thrice-weekly, mandatory worship service for students.

“This was definitely one of the most well-attended chapels ever,” a Westmont student in attendance told Live Action News. “I think almost every student was there so that would have been about 1200 students, and then we probably had 150 faculty, staff, spouses of staff. So my guess would be there were about 1400 people in the room and about 150 got up and left. The majority of people stayed.”

The walkout was preplanned and a social media post had been shared to invite students to join in the “Reproductive Rights Walkout.” The post claimed the walkout was “[i]n response to Lila Rose’s (and Westmont College’s) blatant sexism, disregard of women’s basic reproductive rights, anti-woman and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, and lack of empathy for human suffering.” 

According to the pro-life student, at the start of the event, campus pastor Scott Lisea spoke briefly about why he is pro-life before Rose was introduced and took her place at the podium. As she did so, students began to exit the room.

Rose held her speech until those in protest had left, and then spoke about the Christian call to be actively pro-life, encouraging students and staff and reminding them that the Bible is clear that abortion is wrong.

“Our God is a God of justice,” said Rose. She went on:

Jesus, throughout the Gospels, is weeping over suffering and death. He weeps at the death of his friend Lazarus. He weeps when he looks over Jerusalem. The Gospel includes many of these scenes, but there is a particular kind of suffering that God hates. That God hates. And that is the suffering which is caused intentionally from one person to another. Human choice. Injustice. As a woman, as a mother now of two very beautiful young boys, as a feminist, as a Christian, it has been painful and infuriating for me to watch the popular narrative that’s being announced on news media, stations across the country, by powerful politicians, by our own governor — the popular narrative that we as women need abortion to be free. Killing a child is not freedom.

Full story at LiveAction.