Pennsylvania Democrats apparently will not take any action against state Rep. Brian Sims after he bullied pro-lifers in his district, including an older woman and three young teenage girls.
Bill Patton, a spokesman for Pennsylvania House Democrats, told the Philadelphia Inquirer Thursday that they are “satisfied” with Sims’ promise that he will not behave that way again.
“Democratic leaders addressed the matter with Sims privately and are satisfied it will not be repeated,” Patton said in a statement. “Republican leaders are aware of this.”
He also said Sims talked with state leaders from both parties “at length” about his behavior.
Pro-life advocates and Republicans are not satisfied.
Sims never apologized for bullying pro-lifers outside of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Philadelphia and then posting videos of it online as if he was proud of what he did.
Earlier this month, Sims posted a video online of himself berating an older pro-life sidewalk counselor in Philadelphia. A second video that he posted earlier in April showed him offering $100 for the identities of three teenage girls, ages 13 and 15, who were praying peacefully outside the abortion facility with their mother.
“Rep. Brian Sims’ actions reflect the worst in how people should behave and treat one another in a civil society,” Pennsylvania Republican leaders said in a statement Wednesday. “We expect him to accept full responsibility for his egregious and unacceptable behavior and to pledge that he will meet the high standards that the people of Pennsylvania have for their elected officials.”
On Monday, state Republican Party Chairman Val DiGiorgio also sent a letter to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and his party leaders urging them to publicly condemn Sims’ behavior. DiGiorgio noted that none have done so, despite the national media attention and wide-spread public condemnation.
“… Rep. Sims has yet to take any meaningful responsibility for his actions,” he said. “… allowing this kind of conduct to continue undiscussed by Democrat leadership is an implicit acknowledgment and acceptance that the worst of the Democrat Party has a foothold in Pennsylvania.”
The teenage girls’ mother, Ashley Garecht, recently filed a criminal complaint against Sims.
LifeNews.com also began a petition calling for Sims’ resignation; it has more than 33,000 signatures. Additionally, about 1,000 pro-lifers held a peaceful rally last week in Philadelphia, calling for the state lawmaker to apologize and resign.
Garecht’s family also raised more than $100,000 in an online fundraiser to support mothers and children in Philadelphia in response to Sims’ actions.
One of the videos that Sims posted online showed part of his interaction with Garecht and the girls, who were praying outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood on the Thursday before Easter. In the video, Sims offered viewers $100 to identify the teenage girls.
“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 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.
Sims’ actions may have violated consent and cyberbullying laws. The Philadelphia police and district attorney’s office said they are looking into the incident.
In another 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 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.
Sims released a statement last week 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.