Documentary. Stacey Dooley travels to California to meet Survivors, one of America's most extreme anti-abortion groups, to learn about their activities.
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This programme contains some strong language and some scenes which some viewers may find upsetting.
It's tricky going into a situation or an environment
where you're going to have completely different views
-to everyone surrounding you.
-Abortion is murder!
'It is not a belief, it is a scientific fact.'
You're not out there doing this, they're going to die.
For now, just try to think like us.
I literally can't believe where I am right now.
-These people are judging. Cos they're gods.
-I'm not judging.
You're annoyed because I'm talking to somebody who has a different trail of thought.
No, I'm just kind of confused. I'm not even really annoyed.
Well, I don't know what's confusing.
'The baby is rapidly torn apart by the force of the suction.'
So I have to bring a child into the world?
There's always someone trying to get into your head.
Are you pro-choice, are you pro-abortion?
What would it take to change your mind about something you really believe in?
As it gets darker and darker in this culture, please believe the fact...
Thing is, I don't want to do it.
Just morally, this is such a big thing for me.
TRAIN HORN BLARES
I'm in Southern California
to attend summer camp with a radical protest group known as Survivors,
who are on a mission to end abortion.
Abortion has been legal across the USA since 1973.
It's given rise to a powerful and sometimes extreme pro-life movement.
-Wait till your daughter comes home pregnant!
In the UK, abortion is legal up to 24 weeks.
In America, most states set the limit between 20 and 25 weeks.
But in some, abortion is legal up into the late stages of pregnancy.
Don't touch me!
The rights of the unborn versus a woman's choice
is a hugely divisive issue.
-Have you had an abortion?
-No! Fuck you, no!
But it's none of your fucking business.
-OK, don't hit her. Don't hit her.
-You're such a...
I have always been, I guess, fiercely pro-choice.
I absolutely am of the thought that it's a mother's decision.
It's her choice and nobody else's whether or not she wants to
continue with what was maybe an unplanned pregnancy.
Over three decades, leader Jeff White has gained cult status
in the American pro-life movement.
Hey, guys, they are arresting me! Just so you know.
They won't look at our video.
I've heard he's been arrested over 100 times,
and even been in prison for his radical activism.
..million lives here since 1973.
Survivors say they practise only peaceful protest.
-WOMAN OVER LOUD-HAILER:
-..the lies of abortion.
Survivors are notorious for being one of the only pro-life groups in America
that train children for front-line activism.
I'm enrolling in Survivors' two-week summer camp.
By living in their world and hearing the pro-life message every day,
can they possibly change how I feel about abortion?
-Hi, how are you?
-I'm Stacey, how do you do?
-Nice to meet you, Kate.
Here's your folder here, and we'll get you your name tag as well.
What does this picture symbolise?
That's the skeleton of the baby,
so it's representing that 55 million babies have died.
-OK, so this is my welcome pack?
-Hello. Are you Jeff?
-How do you do, Jeff?
-Nice to meet you.
So, tell me what the plan is, briefly, for today, Jeff?
Very soon we're going to head over to the church
for the start of our classes.
Inside your pack there, you should have one of these.
Have we got all of this information? OK, thank you, Jeff. Cool.
So you'll be sharing a room with me and Mo.
-Mm-hmm. She's Jeff White's daughter.
Oh, really? Has he got loads of kids?
Oh, my gosh, I think he has 11.
-Are you serious?
-I think so.
The campers are all staying in the hotel, and we're sharing rooms.
-This is our room.
If there's three of us we might have to share.
-Yes, I think Mo and I will share a bed.
-Yeah? Whatever you want to do.
-Let's go. This is actually my first-ever summer camp.
-Are you serious?
The camp's base is in a nearby Catholic church hall.
-Hello. Can I sit with you?
Alongside me are 50 other campers aged between 24 and 11.
So, Survivors was formed because we want to address the issue of
abortion in our nation. We're going to be out there speaking the truth.
There are going to be people who hate you for taking that stand.
And very often we're going to get a reaction from them, and it's
going to be an explosive reaction, it's going to be an angry reaction.
So, with that,
you're going to hear from some of the best leaders around the nation.
They know what happens when you unleash young people.
And that's what we're going to do in this camp.
You're advocates for children.
If you're not out there doing this for two weeks, they are going to die.
It's just that simple.
I'm keen to know why this is the summer camp of choice for these young people.
You're here because you believe you should be here,
or is Mum saying you need to go?
Oh, no, I am totally pro-life.
When you're pregnant, it's just basically a miracle.
And I believe that most women when they have sex, they should be
open-minded to that possibility, because it's always possible.
-Yeah, there's always a slight chance.
And if you are not completely aware of that,
and mature enough to realise that you're going to have to be
able to take care of a life, I don't think you should have intercourse.
Wow. That's a bold statement.
So, you think, unless you're prepared to be a mother,
then you shouldn't have sex?
I'm not a virgin, personally,
and I'm scared to death to ever, like, have children at my age right now,
but at least I know I would never abort a child.
'I'm told we will be protesting in public,
'and are given a crash course in the facts according to Survivors.'
-'A lot of people claim that no-one can know when life begins,
'that it's merely a religious issue.'
'Every human embryologist in the world knows that the life of
'the new individual human being begins at fertilisation.
'It is not a belief. It is a scientific fact.
-'What does this look like to you?
-A baby child, a foetus.
-'What does this look like?
-That is a model of a human foetus.
-William, how old are you?
-Four and a half.
-'And you're sure this is a baby?
'Guiding the young students are ten older team leaders.'
I think, for me, I have trouble accepting what that video suggests
in terms of, as soon as we're finished having sex,
that's when life starts.
-Right, so there is no kind of qualms about that?
I guess I just don't believe it's my right to...
dictate to other women and other individuals what's...
-what they should do.
Abortion, too, he said the destruction of the embryo in
the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live, which God...
'The classes are ramping up the pro-life message.'
What we're seeing in society is the result of a bad worldview.
As it gets darker and darker in this culture,
please believe the fact that the ultimate sacrifice is the ultimate gift,
and it confounds the world when they take our lives,
when they shame us, when they scourge us,
when they drag us through the streets like Jesus,
when they pin us up to the cross and say, "You bigot, you intolerant,"
when we respond with love and grace, instead of panic, fear and hatred.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
I can see that the syllabus is clearly having
a big impact on those around me.
Do you think you girls are radical?
-I'm willing to go to jail for this.
So, would you give your life for this cause?
Yeah, I would, I definitely would.
I would, too. Yeah.
Yeah, because it's basically giving your life for another 60 million...
million human beings.
If it meant the end of abortion, like all legal abortion,
all anything abortion, I would personally die, yeah.
I am really hoping that
-Stacey kind of joins our side, you know?
If she participates, whether she
-believes in what she's doing or not...
..but she does those actions, it can start developing,
and she can see, she can feel the reaction of those people that were
once maybe like her.
And she can see the reactions and maybe she'll start actually
-feeling like what I'm doing is right.
-Cos sometimes they say if you act like it, you start believing in it.
After a long day of classes I catch up with my roommates -
Claire and Jeff's 19-year-old daughter Mo.
-How are you?
-I'm good, how are you?
-I'm all right.
-Your hair's nice loose.
What time must we be up tomorrow?
-I think we're leaving at 8.25.
You're Jeff's daughter, can't you get us a few extra minutes?
He has a tighter leash on me, so if I do something,
it's like he notices.
-It's like, "You should know better."
-So, how was your first day at camp?
It was kind of like first day back at school. You know what I mean?
Everyone's kind of trying to figure everyone else out.
My first immediate thought, sat there looking round the room,
was so many of these kids are so young.
I personally have a real issue with kind of forcing this
biased agenda down youngsters' throats.
I think they're not even formed as kind of...
..thoughtful adults at this moment.
And surely it's all about
giving them all the information, from both sides,
and then leaving it to them to come to their own conclusions.
'For the next phase of our training, we're leaving the classroom and hitting the road.'
What are we doing?
We're going to have a memorial
at the graveside of the unborn... pre-born.
We've come to a cemetery on the outskirts of LA.
We can gather in the shade.
Activist Joe has been fighting abortion since the 1980s
We're coming here for a memorial service
because there is 54 aborted babies buried here.
March 14th in 1997, there were a couple of young boys playing
in a field in Chino Hills, California, not far from here.
And they noticed some boxes at the edge of this field.
Much to their horror, they saw a bunch of dead babies.
A couple of churches in the area immediately got together
to discuss, what do we need to do?
So the next day immediately they had a memorial service.
That was 19 years ago.
These children are about your age.
They were discarded from the truck that was transporting them to
a medical waste facility,
because it's expensive to deal with medical waste.
Just think, if one of those children could have escaped
that horrible death, they might be standing right here with you today.
That's how old they are.
And it is my prayer today that this will touch your heart
and that you will say, no. No. Not now, not ever.
Not on my watch.
-# And my soul... #
'It's impossible not to find the story shocking,
'especially for the young campers.'
Each and every one of these babies is special and had a purpose.
Each and every one of them...
..is God's artistry.
(Why are you so emotional?)
THEY SOB QUIETLY
Their parents don't even know they're here.
(No-one can argue that what that driver did,
(dumping those embryos, was absolutely wrong.)
Those babies. Those babies.
The reason we do this is to just have a remembrance...
..that they were lives and they ended,
and each day thousands of children die the same way.
And our job is to rescue them.
We are, in essence, rescuers.
-So, rescuers. Also, I'm presuming, Survivors.
Why do you call yourself Survivors?
Because anybody born after 1973
survived the American Abortion Holocaust. OK?
We have... The number of children
that we've murdered in the United States
makes Nazi Germany pale by comparison.
That's fascinating, the idea that you believe that comparison is necessary.
You think that's accurate.
We're talking about human beings unjustly killed.
Jewish human beings, unborn babies.
So I think it's a fair comparison.
-So that's your kind of overriding message, essentially?
-All life is sacred.
Whether it's inside of a womb, or it's outside.
'I find Jeff's Holocaust analogy so controversial,
'but I'm quickly learning he uses shock as a key tool in promoting his message.'
Jeff isn't stupid.
And any adult knows that if you get a group of kids and stand them in front of...
..a tombstone, and you make sure there's a keyboard playing
a very sad song in the background,
then that's going to make these kids respond
in a way that is going to, hopefully, in the next couple of days,
make sure they are quite militant when they're out in the streets.
It can feel like they are manipulating these
Now thoroughly schooled in Jeff's message,
it's time to take the pro-life argument to the public.
We're preparing for our first street demonstration,
using signs with highly graphic images.
Today you're going to be holding a sign on the street at the beach, OK?
So you need to be prepared for that.
Yeah. Can... I wanted to talk to you about that. I...
don't know if I feel entirely comfortable
-in terms of holding the sign.
I wondered, could I stand next to the guys with the sign?
Why can't she stand next to the sign and say, "I'm OK with this"?
I don't feel comfortable holding a sign.
Today I'll have you stand next to somebody. OK?
But at some point in time,
I'm going to want you to have possession of the sign
so that you have to defend holding that image to somebody coming by.
You want to be a part of the camp.
You're more than capable.
'The thought of front-line protesting is making me
'feel really uncomfortable, but at least I'm not the only rookie.'
-How are you feeling?
-I am nervous to the point of...
If I can represent the movement I'm in...
I've always been pro-life in thought and what I say and how I speak it,
but I've never been an activist.
And so I get here, and on these three days of training we've had,
I see now why these people are dedicating so much of their life.
So it sounds to me like the camp has encouraged you to go further
than you ever have done in the past.
-Almost like a calling.
Yeah, so, I mean, at first you get motivated by
what you hear, what you see, what you believe is true,
so the representation they showed us,
the more truths they showed us over the evils that are happening,
when we went down to the memorial of the 54 babies that were aborted
and left on the side of the road...
-I have now felt it as a calling through that experience I've had.
-So now I'm more motivated to go out and be an activist to end it.
Survivors purposely target the busiest locations.
Today it's Huntington Beach, famous for its laid-back vibe.
So, I need you guys all to grab a sign,
and then go with Veronica and go across, OK?
The rest of you, we're going to be setting up over here.
'Within minutes of arriving, the police are on the scene.'
-Back up. Back up, people, I'm tired of this. Back away from us, now.
-Please don't hurt them.
It doesn't take long for our signs to get a reaction from the public.
But I'm guilty.
I've been part of an abortion, and it was the best decision I made.
-But these people are judging, cos they're gods.
-I'm not judging.
'It suddenly hit me how real all of this is.'
I literally can't believe where I am right now.
I really want to enjoy this beach, though.
If a woman feels like she doesn't want to have a baby,
I think that's her choice, the kid don't have
no decisions to make for itself.
We're saying, that baby still doesn't know what's going on.
It's a human being.
Every time I jack off and bust a nut,
does that make that sperms and shit a fucking life, and something I...?
-No, cos it hasn't fertilised.
-But it's still living, it's a cell.
But once the egg and shit... It's still a cell.
I mean, I bet you that if this baby could talk they would be like
"Ma, I don't want to be killed.
"I want to have the opportunity to actually live."
58 million, just in America. 40 million a year in the world.
Human beings that aren't here.
Because we terminate them because women think it's their choice
to end a life they created.
The way you should fight this battle is when you have a kid
or you knock somebody up, it's you have that belief, and you do that with your own life.
All these other people that feel a different way and want to do it a different way,
you let them live their fucking life.
-Thank you very much. We really appreciate this great discussion.
-It's nice to meet you.
-So, where are you from, the River Thames or what?
I'm, like, hanging out with these guys.
These guys are obviously pro-lifers. I'm not necessarily pro-life,
I more pro-choice. But they've been so accommodating,
and they have been really lovely, actually.
And they're trying to explain to me their perspective, and vice versa.
-So, I'll introduce myself. I'm Stacey.
-Stacey, my name's William.
Nice to meet you. Do signs like this make you think even
a little bit, or are you still adamant in what you believe?
Of course it made me think for a second,
but more I thought that was just ugly to bring out here than it is...
'But voicing my genuine opinion in public has not gone unnoticed.'
-Religion has nothing to do with facts, though.
Sorry, Sheila, we were having a conversation. He's...
But we're in a public area,
and you're saying something that I object to.
You're kind of giving the other side a platform and I was
under the impression that you were here to just kind of like...
That's what it is, isn't it, Sheila?
You're annoyed because I'm talking to somebody who has a different trail of thought.
-No, I'm just kind of confused. I'm not even really annoyed.
-I don't know what's confusing.
I'm confused because basically I'm getting some concerns from the campers.
All you have to say is, "Stace, can I have a chat?"
'Speaking my mind has also upset Yuni,
'and I want to clear the air.'
I know that you felt a bit gutted about me having
a chat with the guy who was pro-choice.
I didn't like the fact that you stepped up and you're like,
"I'm with you, I'm pro-choice."
And that got me a little mad.
I totally agree that you should talk to them.
You should have conversations with them or anything.
But I feel like you shouldn't do it when we're telling him
a completely opposite thing, because you're with us.
So it just makes us look bad.
I'm in a hard fucking space, girls.
Like, I rate you lot, I like all of you. I'm growing fond of you all.
But you're still...about what I'm not. So I'm trying.
I'm really trying, but it's not always easy.
I'm sat here wondering what it...
What it would take, what they would have to say to convince me.
That their way is correct. You know?
All along they've got it right and perhaps I got it wrong.
-Have you ever been in the ocean?
I have in the past, but I forgot my bikini.
Have you had a good day?
-Yeah, it was really fun.
-It was kind of exciting.
Cos sometimes there's some police there.
And this is a huge part of your family's life.
Do you feel like it will always be a part of yours?
Because it's kind of sad that the babies don't get
a chance to vote for themselves and, like, to speak for themselves,
-and I would just like them to be able to have that chance.
-I'm going to go wash off.
-All right, love. OK.
-Don't follow me, ever!
'I'm halfway through camp.
'We're preparing signs for our next protest.
'It's clear Jeff's determined for me to get more hands-on.'
-Are you pro-choice? Are you pro-abortion?
-I'm pro-choice, all day.
If you're pro-choice, then half of that responsibility
-is helping the person to make the right choice.
So, often it's the person is in...
-in a traumatic situation.
The world is crashing in around them.
-They need somebody to direct them and at least warn them.
"This is something you should consider."
You're completely right. I should know both sides. I should know...
why you guys believe it is so necessary for you to be out here.
I'll tell you what this is doing, which is really healthy,
it's making me imagine what I would do as a woman
if I found myself in this situation.
What I'd actually like to ask you to do is to take some of the
shame that it is to be a pro-life activist,
there is that sense in which you are ostracised from the community,
I'd like you to feel that, cos I think it's critical to
understand really what these young people are experiencing.
To help me understand the challenge pro-lifers face,
Jeff's asked me to role-play as one of them.
Here we go, we're setting her all up.
-So, Jeff, I'm posing as a pro-lifer?
I don't think that abortion is killing human babies.
Why would you say that?
Lots of people who support pro-choice
believe that it's a foetus, or they refer to it as an embryo.
But actually, as a religious pro-lifer,
I believe that life starts at conception.
-Another question. Yes.
-What about women who have been raped?
Are you saying that you are going to force women to carry a child
after this traumatic experience?
This, em... This baby is an innocent human being.
And we would urge you to perhaps not punish this baby.
Did you just call me a murderer?
Erm... I mean, we believe that abortion is murder.
Is that what you believe?
If they make it a personal story, you get it off that personal story.
The most compassionate thing we can do is offer support,
cos she's probably still hurting.
I'll tell you what I imagine is really tricky, though,
you say try and keep it sort of theoretical, but it is so personal.
You were still raped. Abortion didn't un-rape you.
What we believe is for women who did go through that, we say,
you know, we'll take care of you.
But in my own experience, you know,
I have met women who have been raped and it was in countries
where abortion is illegal,
and so they were forced to go through with the pregnancy,
and they killed themselves.
They just couldn't look at that child.
So, it's so difficult for me, I can't tell you.
It is difficult. It's not an easy question for them.
I can only say that these things I believe to be true,
and I want to offer compassion.
'Today I would say I'm feeling quite drained, actually.
'Sort of constantly on the back foot here.'
There's always someone trying to get into your head and trying to
understand why you can't see things from their point of view.
They just, honestly, they...
They can't comprehend how I can't adamantly believe...
..that abortion is this abhorrent...
..act that needs to be eradicated immediately.
Today we're protesting again in one of LA's most alternative
and hedonistic neighbourhoods - Venice Beach.
This place is a zoo. OK?
There's everything from drunks to addicts to...
to people coming from all over the world.
So it's going to be high traffic, OK?
'This time, will I be able to toe the party line?'
Honestly, I can't preach the message, but I'm here with you.
Just, morally, this is such a big thing for me.
To stand for something that you don't really believe in is quite tricky.
Just answer the best answer that you can.
Stay as close to the argument without violating your conscience.
-Yeah, that's fair.
I will say, "The pro-lifers would say..."
'Andres and the guys are soon engaging the public.'
-I got that.
-It has nothing to do with you. Two crazy people fucked.
I'm sorry, but they want to kill a baby, that's up to them.
Why are you getting involved with their situation?
'And then it's my turn,
'holding a hard-hitting image of a foetus aborted after 29 weeks.'
-It was good.
-What do you make of the message?
-I hear all the message, no abortion. No abortion, right?
-We agree. We definitely agree
Would you like to come and talk to us?
So, this is a picture of, erm...
of an abortion in third trimester.
My God! This is evil!
I can't believe it. Are you helping?
Are you involved in this in some way?
So, Zaira is a pro-lifer, and she believes that the world,
the country, would be a better place if abortion was made illegal.
So, it'd be interesting to hear your take on that.
'Staying on message and true to my beliefs is hugely difficult.'
Say she was violently raped at age 18.
I mean, you're talking about the rights of the child,
what about the rights of the woman?
'I must admit, although we disagree, I am growing fond of these kids.'
-Jeff wants the more explicit signs in the middle.
I think that you've come through the process and where you're at,
I think that you're at a turning point emotionally.
I can see where they're coming from,
because they believe in their heart of hearts that it's...
-it's a complete human, it is a living being.
The most vulnerable within our society.
God, I'm turning, Jeff! SHE LAUGHS
I'm not. Maybe a little. SHE LAUGHS
There's only three days of camp left,
and Jeff has shifted the activism up a gear.
He's brought us to an abortion clinic belonging to
Planned Parenthood, one of America's largest abortion providers.
This wall was put up because of...
They turned 27 women around out here in a 40-day period,
to change their mind, and get help elsewhere and keep their baby.
-So this wall is brand-new?
-This wall is brand-new.
It was built for us to stop us from talking to the women.
Jeff's asked the students to write anti-abortion slogans
to try and influence the staff and pregnant women inside.
While the kids scrawl their slogans, a patient comes out.
I've had an abortion, and you know what? It's my God-given right.
The fact you come here and you use children, innocent children,
that don't even know how to raise a baby.
So how dare you come in here and say that we can't do this,
-or that it's wrong?
-Are you talking to me?
I'm talking to any adult that brought these kids here...
-..for whatever reason you guys brought these children here to mark up here.
Where is Jeff?
You know how it affects the mother? How it affects me?
That doesn't change what we're doing here.
-So I have to bring a child into the world?
You know what, I'm not going to listen to you.
You asked a question, I'd like to answer it, that's all.
Cos you know what? That's wrong.
'After covering the pavement with their messages,
'the students make a quick exit.'
All right, you guys, let's load it up.
'I want to know what effect it's had on Bonnie, the patient.'
It hurts me to see children, you know, being used.
That could be my daughter, my 11-year-old daughter, writing that right there.
And this could be her half-brother and sister. You know what I mean?
And I have to... I have to make this choice.
So I should be able to come to a place like this and do that.
Does that make an already very difficult situation even more difficult?
Yes. Yes, it does. It very does.
Because you come out here and you see all the writing on the wall
and it makes you feel guilt, it makes you feel shame. It turns it into anger.
I carried guilt and shame for my...my three abortions ever since I did them.
But I know that I've asked God to forgive me.
This isn't a split-second decision.
-You've given this serious thought.
-You've thought about it for a very long time.
-And it's the right decision for you.
'I'm upset about how Bonnie was treated,
'and want to make my feelings known to the group.'
Any time that we say it's OK to take an instrument
and rip limbs off the body of a human being,
simply cos somebody wants to live a different way,
we've taken away their value.
Do you feel like you did enough with that woman today outside Planned Parenthood?
I tried to softly talk to her.
And as soon as I actually answered her question,
she obviously shut me off and didn't want an answer.
Today was just a sidewalk chalk and somebody happened to come out and start yelling at them.
That's real life. Having a conversation with that girl,
Bonnie, I don't feel like...
And I know you place such emphasis on making sure that the woman feels loved.
I'm giving you feedback, almost - she didn't feel that.
She didn't want to listen to us.
I'm not going to, like, force her to listen to me, you know?
Because then that would just be bad.
That would seem like as a negative influence, and we don't want that.
We have never been disrespectful towards women. We are pacifists.
What happened this afternoon, I just didn't feel like that woman
felt like she was loved and she had that complete support.
If anything, it felt a bit hostile.
We present what's perfect, we present the absolute truth.
We're defending life.
We may not present it well, but don't label the movement over the people.
But, yeah, I appreciate your giving us this feedback on what the person thought.
-And because we could always do better.
'Andres' honesty is admirable, but I still wonder if kids this young
'are capable of helping women like Bonnie.'
Had enough today.
Not one of you said, "Do you need a couple of minutes? Can I have a chat?"
You wrote on the pavement, "Abortion is murder," and then you left.
If you want to say I have rookie troops and they failed,
I'll go with that. But I won't go that it was a matter of the heart.
I feel like saying to the kids, "What are you going to do
"to help this woman if you tell her not to go through with it?"
I get calls all the time from people who are outside the clinics, OK?
I house 18 women and their children.
I have a girl that lived in one of my cabins,
lived in my house and then lived in one of my cabins.
-The fact is we do help them.
-You do, Jeff.
-No, not me alone.
It happens all the time.
But what kids have taken one of those women in?
-Well, my daughter Janey...
-No, the kids that are in this camp now.
Well, the kids that are in the camp now, they are 16, 17 years old.
-That's what I'm saying.
-But they have resources.
If you want to be perfect, don't go into the compassion business...
-Because you can never do enough.
Jeff, please don't get... I don't want you to get upset.
I've not come here to upset you. I'm just trying to be totally honest.
No, no, no. I'm fine. It's just...
VOICE BREAKING: I just don't understand how you can be such an awesome man, but...
..not sympathise with this woman, and not understand...
-But I do sympathise.
-..how tragic this is for her.
-I do sympathise.
Today was probably the most controversial day I've had so far.
Dealing with real girls who are often in desperate situations.
And my concern is that a lot of these kids,
and a lot of these pro-lifers assume...
..that girls, you know...
..come to the decision very quickly, it's a very easy choice.
You know, no-one skips into an abortion clinic.
And that was very obvious for me today.
Jeff says they have supported women
that decided to not have an abortion,
including accommodation, and even helping to pay for the education of some of the mothers.
But I want to see proof.
Say hi, baby.
'Three years ago, ex-Survivor student Ashley met a mother-to-be
'who was seeking an abortion and offered her an alternative.'
-This is Stella. You say hello?
So you had a conversation with one of the girls, is that correct?
Yes, I think she was about seven months pregnant
-when I first met her.
And she's 15 years old. We met for dinner,
and you could just tell she was just super scared, and she was alone.
She was in the foster care system herself.
She came from a very broken home.
And her number-one reason for wanting an abortion was
because she felt like she had no other option.
And so it offered to her that if she chose life for the baby that,
you know, I would adopt her baby if that's what you would want,
or, you know, just to show her that there are couples.
Yeah, that there are couples.
You know, especially in the pro-life movement,
that personally want to adopt children.
So, yeah, over the course of a week, I convinced her.
I said, "You have to make a choice. It is a ticking time bomb.
"So we have to figure this out."
So I take her to a pregnancy resource centre. At the end of the meeting - I wasn't in there -
the counsellor came out and said, "She would like to speak with you."
And I said, "OK." And my heart's racing, cos I'm like,
"Lord, I hope she doesn't choose abortion."
And that's when she said...
-Don't say sorry. MAN CHUCKLES
Don't say sorry.
"I've decided to not have an abortion,
"and I would like for you and Charles to adopt my baby."
And I immediately said, "Yes, we will."
I called him and I said, "We're having a girl."
And he's like, "What?!"
And Charles is like, "Sweet, when is her due date?"
He just was right on board from the beginning.
-Surprised us, though. We weren't really expecting it.
But it was a massive blessing.
-We were blown away and just so happy.
-We were blown away and so excited.
How did the birth mother...deal with the enormity of the situation?
I mean, she just had this peace about her, and she was like,
"This is the right decision. I'm making the right decision.
"I'm so thankful I didn't have an abortion.
"At least, in this instance, something beautiful comes out of that pain."
-Throughout this experience, we have an open adoption.
-So there's contact.
It's... We still care about her individually.
I find myself... More times we're talking about each other,
you know, or having a conversation together,
and Stella is not even brought up,
because we developed this relationship, this love for each other.
You know, we are both the mother to Stella, just in different ways.
It's been such a huge blessing, the whole process.
-We would do it again in a heartbeat, too.
-You say "Bye, baby!"
Can you give a kiss?
'One of the reasons I personally have an issue with the kids
intervening is because, really and truly, they have no...
I hadn't, however, entertained the fact that they are obviously
going to grow up into adults, and if they still feel passionately and...
they are still banging the Survivors drum, they are going to be in
a position where they are able to behave like Ashley and Charles have.
And I can't argue with the fact that there's every chance...
..Stella would have been aborted
if they hadn't have interjected and so...
to see Stella knocking about with her sister and...
..playing with Jeff, it does...
..put a different spin on things, and it is real food for thought.
It's the last night of camp.
The students are holding a vigil at the abortion clinic
and reflecting on their experiences.
It's a really powerful thing to see how we can actually, like,
just us, just a group of kids, can change a lot of people's minds,
and we can actually save lives.
-Thank you for everything.
I felt this love from all y'all,
and I felt this care that y'all all see towards any abortion.
When I was talking to people I had that passion.
I always felt like, "Man, I'm representing the absolute truth and I want to share with everybody."
I think you're all beautiful kids.
I think you've got the sweetest souls,
and, yeah, I'm made up I've got a couple of new pals.
Thank you so much. Thank you.
And I don't know if we changed her mind or not,
but I think we will forever impact her in some way.
And that's our purpose here. It's one person at a time, you know?
'My time with Survivors is over.'
I would hope that Stacey is going to walk away with an understanding
that pro-lifers aren't firebomb-throwing whack jobs, OK?
Hey, we're just people that...
..love unborn children, we believe they are fully human,
just like you or I, and we're out to save them.
And that may be passionate, and that may be loud, but it's not...
It's not coming from a pool of hatred, it's coming from a pool of love.
'I'll tell you what has surprised me
'is the fact that all of these kids
'seem to genuinely want to be here,
'and they seem to love it and just get such a kick out of...
I've been really open-minded, I haven't been entirely dismissive,
I've listened to the opposing argument.
And from that, you know, it has given me food for thought.
Abortion will always exist.
I pray that I never find myself in a situation in the future
where I have to entertain the idea of possibly going through with an abortion.
But you just never know what your circumstances could be.
I would want it to be legal and to be as safe as possible.
-It's been fun.
-Yeah, no, it has. Thank you.
I think I would find it a lot harder,
far more difficult to go through with an abortion
if I was of the thought that the child,
if I gave birth at that moment, could survive.
And I'm not saying I would pass any judgment on any other girls
with what they decide to do, but...
..I think that would be a sticking point for me, actually.
Stacey Dooley travels to California to meet Survivors, one of America's most extreme anti-abortion groups. Learning alongside them in the classroom, before witnessing them preach their pro-life message to both the public and mothers-to-be, can they persuade Stacey to join their controversial campaign?