The father of the teen girls who Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims bullied for being pro-life came forward this week with a gesture of compassion.
Joe Garecht said his wife, two teenage daughters and a friend were the ones in a video that Sims posted publicly online several weeks ago, CNS News reports. In the video, Sims bullied the family and then appeared to threaten to doxx them by offering $100 for anyone who would identify them publicly.
Rather than respond in anger or hatred, Garecht and his family decided to use the experience to do something good. They set up a fundraiser to help mothers and babies in the Philadelphia area.
“On Holy Thursday (April 18, 2019) my wife, two teenage daughters, and their friend were peacefully praying outside of a Planned Parenthood in Center City Philadelphia when a man started yelling at them,” Garecht wrote on his fundraising page. “[A]fter ranting at them for several minutes, he left, and returned with his cell phone to record the … video.”
“It’s bad enough that a grown man would be trying to dox three teenage girls,” the father wrote. “It’s even worse that he is an elected official.”
“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. It seems like you like to pick on women, teenagers, and senior citizens. That’s shameful, and unacceptable,” he said.
Secondly, Garecht encouraged people to donate to the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, which provides education and support for mothers and babies in the city, including diapers, baby clothing and more.
“I have a challenge for the pro-life community. Rep. Sims offered $100 to anyone who would identify these teenage girls for him. Instead of $100, let’s join together to donate $100,000 to the pro-life movement,” Garecht wrote.
The family has raised more than $7,500 so far. Find the fundraiser here.
Late Monday, the Pennsylvania Republican Party urged Sims to apologize. Many also are calling for Sims, a pro-abortion Democrat, to resign after he posted a video last week of him bullying a woman outside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. A second video shows him appearing to call for the doxxing of the pro-life teenage girls.
A LifeNews petition calling for Sims’ resignation amassed more than 5,600 signatures in 24 hours.
The video that Sims posted online several weeks ago shows him offering his viewers $100 to identify four pro-life advocates, including three teenage girls, who were peacefully praying outside the abortion facility in Philadelphia.
“What we’ve got here is a bunch of … pseudo Christian protesters who’ve been out here shaming young girls for being here. So, here’s the deal, I’ve got $100 to anybody who will identify these three, and I will donate to Planned Parenthood,” Sims said in the video.
Sims initially drew national criticism after he posted a video of himself harassing a woman who was praying outside the Planned Parenthood abortion facility last week.
In the first video, which Sims posted publicly online, he appeared to be attempting to doxx the pro-life woman – whom he called an “old white lady” – by asking his viewers for her name and address.
“Shame on you!” Sims said as the woman asked him to get his camera out of her face. “You have a problem protesting in public? Don’t protest in public!
“If you know who this woman is and you can give me her address, we’ll protest out in front of her home. Let’s go protest out of her house and tell her what’s right for her body,” he continued.
For most of the video, the woman silently bore Sims’ bullying. The exception was when he got his camera close to her face and she told him not to.
Sims also repeatedly exerted his power and privilege by mentioning that he is a state representative, including when the woman appeared to be calling police.
His bullying continued for at least eight minutes, the length of the video.
“Today’s protester, now she is an old white lady who is going to try to avoid showing you her face,” Sims began, according to a transcript by the Daily Caller. “But the same laws, luckily, that protect her from being out here also protect me from showing you who she is. And so my hope is that you’ll donate $100 [to Planned Parenthood] for every extra hour that this woman is out here telling people what is right for their bodies.”
His harassment, videotaping and online postings may have violated consent and cyberbullying laws.