Pa. legislator regrets harassing pro-life women and girls at abortion clinic
A Pennsylvania legislator expressed regret for his mistreatment of an elderly pro-life activist and two pro-life girls who were peacefully demonstrating outside an abortion clinic.
Democratic Representative Brian Sims posted a video to his Twitter account on Tuesday responding to the outrage over his behavior.
Rep. Sims began the video speaking well of the Planned Parenthood clinic where the incident took place and criticized the pro-life protesters who regularly demonstrate outside of the clinic, claiming they engage in “slurs,” “attacks,” and even “racism.”
“I know that two wrongs don’t make a right. I can do better, and I will do better, for the women of Pennsylvania,” stated Sims, whose video statement got over 1.7 million views by Thursday afternoon.
Last week, Sims garnered controversy for his posting to social media a video of himself harassing an elderly woman who was praying outside of a Planned Parenthood facility in Philadelphia.
“They prey on young women, they use white privilege, & shame. They’re racist, classist, bigots who NEED & DESERVE our righteous opposition. Push back, please,” he tweeted on May 2.
In April, Sims also confronted and filmed a woman and her two teenage daughters praying outside of the clinic, offering $100 to anyone who could identify them.
Ashley Garecht, the mother of the teenagers, told Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson in an interview earlier this week that she was “concerned for my girls.”
“I was genuinely trying to enter into just a dialogue with him to try to bring the situation, calm it down a little bit and say to him on film we are really here just praying for these women and babies,” said Garecht, as reported by Fox News.
“I never come to a clinic looking for a fight … It's always just with peaceful, prayerful intent. Yes, I was concerned that he said multiple times that he wanted the identities of my daughters.”
Sims’ video addressing the response to his past actions was bashed by many, including the Daily Signal, which labeled it a “non-apology” and noted that “Sims provided no evidence of the alleged racism and harassment from pro-life demonstrators.”
“Sims didn’t apologize to the pro-lifers he accosted in the video he posted on Tuesday. Instead, he expressed regret for his tactics,” claimed the Daily Signal.
Beth Baumann of Townhall.com labeled the Sims apology video “pathetic” and commended social media responses criticizing Sims for “not even having the ability to say, ‘I'm sorry.’”
“After conservatives pounced on Sims for his disgusting tactics, he took to Periscope, yet again, but this time to semi-kind-of ‘apologize,’” added Baumann.
“Except he didn't really offer an apology at all. All he did was make an excuse for his behavior and say he didn't mean to embarrass Planned Parenthood.”
For their part, the pro-life group Live Action has called on Sims to resign from office, launching an online petition drive.
“We demand Rep. Sims resign from the Pennsylvania legislature for his unacceptable and disgusting conduct. His discrimination, harassment, and bullying of pro-lifers make him not fit for public office,” stated Live Action.
Live Action is also organizing "Pro-Life Rally Against Bullying" event at the Philadelphia Planned Parenthood facility on Friday, which more than 240 people have already RSVP'ed to on Facebook.