A growing chorus is calling for Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat, to resign after he filmed himself harassing pro-life protesters and asking supporters to dox, or reveal private information about, three teenage girls.
An online petition started by the pro-life website Life News garnered over 11,000 signatures in two days. The petition states, “We call on Representative Brian Sims to resign immediately after this shameful harassment and bullying of a pro-life woman. If he does not resign, the Pennsylvania state legislature should censure him and take whatever other disciplinary measures that are appropriate.”
National leaders are also calling for Sims to resign after harassing an elderly woman who was praying outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic and three young girls who were with an adult woman outside the clinic. He also asked a young man who was at the clinic for his name and address.
“Hateful, angry Dem state rep videoed himself offering a $100 bounty for the identities of three teenage girls praying outside Planned Parenthood. These young girls showed more maturity than this self-described “College Football Captain.” Will Dem Party condemn this abuse?” wrote Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a post on Twitter.
Hateful, angry Dem state rep videoed himself offering a $100 bounty for the identities of three teenage girls praying outside Planned Parenthood. These young girls showed more maturity than this self-described “College Football Captain.” Will Dem Party condemns this abuse? https://t.co/updd6BLue7
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 7, 2019
“This guy is completely unhinged. He is absolutely unfit to serve in office, and he needs to be called out,” Abby Johnson, whose story about leaving Planned Parenthood was made into the hit movie “Unplanned,” told “Fox & Friends” Wednesday morning.
“Nobody is shaming woman for walking into a Planned Parenthood clinic. We are simply offering options to these women and if they didn’t want options, they wouldn’t take them,” Johnson added. “They’re not receiving options inside these Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood is there to sell an abortion. It’s why they have abortion quotas.”
Abby Garecht, the adult woman seen with the teenagers, told openly conservative Fox News that her two daughters are 15 and 13 years old. The third girl was their friend.
“I was surprised that an adult man would approach teenage girls in that way,” Garecht said. “Just the fact that he’s an adult male interacting aggressively with teenage girls, that alone is inappropriate.”
— Americans United for Life (@AUL) May 8, 2019
A fundraiser started by Garecht’s husband Joe Garecht for the pro-life movement has garnered over $38,000.
“It’s bad enough that a grown man would be trying to dox three teenage girls. It’s even worse that he is an elected official. I’ve got two responses to these despicable actions by ‘Representative’ Sims: First, Brian, if you have a problem with my wife and daughters praying outside of an abortion clinic, I’m the one you can talk to … instead of harassing teenage girls,” Garecht wrote.
“It seems like you like to pick on women, teenagers, and senior citizens (see him harass a senior citizen who was praying by clicking here). That’s shameful and unacceptable.”
The second response was asking people to donate to the fundraiser, which would pass on money to the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia. The group holds outreach campaigns outside abortion clinics in Philadelphia.
The Republican Party of Pennsylvania also requested an apology from Sims in addition to his resignation. “Elected officials should not use their positions of power to harass citizens who are peacefully protesting. I hope our state and federal prosecutors will undertake review of this matter with the seriousness it deserves and uphold the role for which they were elected to, which demands holding people accountable for their actions,” party Chairman Val DiGiorgio said in a statement, reported CBS Philadelphia.
According to the broadcaster, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Department are investigating the videos.