The Catholic archbishop in Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims’ district encouraged people to attend a rally Friday to stand against the politician’s harassment of peaceful pro-life protesters.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said Sims’ behavior is “unbecoming of an elected official” and the public outrage is warranted, according to the Catholic News Agency.
Sims, a pro-abortion Democrat, has faced huge backlash after he posted two videos online of him bullying an older woman and three 13- and 15-year-old girls outside of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in his district.
Several leading pro-life groups are planning a rally on Friday outside the abortion facility, including Daily Wire writer Matt Walsh, Abby Johnson, Lila Rose and others. The rally is slated for 11 a.m. outside the Southeastern Planned Parenthood, 1144 Locust St., Philadelphia.
The archbishop urged pro-life Christians to respond to Sims with prayer and Christ’s love.
“I’m calling on all people of good will to channel their indignation into right action and prayerful witness,” Chaput said.
Here’s more from the report:
Chaput said that there is “much bitter irony” in Sims’ claim to be a champion for the rights of all women while he “trampled on the rights of others and disgracefully shamed them in public.”
“Representative Sims spoke often of shame and there was plenty of that to be found in his actions, which demonstrated a complete disregard for civility and basic human decency,” Chaput said.
“It was particularly disdainful that he offered a bounty for the identity and home addresses of three young ladies in order to encourage protests at their homes.”
Last week, Sims posted a video of himself berating a pro-life sidewalk counselor in Philadelphia. A second video that he posted earlier in April showed him offering $100 for the identities of three pro-life teenage girls who were praying peacefully outside the abortion facility with their mother.
His requests suggest that the state representative may have been trying to intimidate the 13- and 15-year-old girls through doxxing, a practice where a person’s name and contact information are posted publicly online usually to encourage harassment.
In the first video, Sims also appeared to be attempting to doxx another pro-life woman – he called her 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 more than eight minutes, the length of the video.
In the second video, he made a similar request. He offered his viewers $100 to identify three teenage girls who were peacefully praying outside the same Planned Parenthood.
“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.
His actions may have violated consent and cyberbullying laws. The Philadelphia police and district attorney’s office said they are looking into the incident.
Sims released a statement late Tuesday where he did not apologize for his behavior. Instead, he chose to attack pro-life advocates even more by claiming they “slur” and “attack” Planned Parenthood patients – without providing any evidence to support his claims.
A LifeNews petition calling for Sims’ resignation amassed more than 25,000 signatures this week. And a fundraiser started by the family of the teenage girls has raised more than $95,000 for a charity that supports mothers and babies in the city.
The Planned Parenthood abortion clinic where Sims harassed the women has failed 13 of its 23 safety inspections.