May 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – After a period of social media silence, the Pennsylvania Democrat who filmed himself berating peaceful pro-life protesters has issued a new apology – not to the peaceful minors he attempted to intimidate, but to Planned Parenthood and fellow pro-abortion activists negatively impacted by the coverage of his actions.
Earlier this month, State Rep. Brian Sims drew national attention by posting a video in which he followed a woman who was quietly walking and praying a rosary outside of a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood. He attempted to shove his phone in her face and repeatedly called her “shameful,” “disgusting,” “racist,” and an “old white lady.”
Another video showed him approaching three girls, who he calls “pseudo-Christian protesters,” and offering “$100 to anybody who will identify these three.” Afterward, he approached a male protester and asked, “What makes you think it’s your job to tell women what to do with their bodies?” But before the man could answer, Sims declared, “The truth is, I’m not really asking, because I don’t care. Shame on you,” and walked away.
The videos sparked widespread outrage among pro-lifers, who in a matter of days organized a pro-life rally outside that Planned Parenthood location on May 10 that drew hundreds of attendees and several prominent pro-lifers, as well as Ashley Garecht, the mother of two of the girls seen in the video. Sims eventually went silent on his social media accounts and barred the public from so much as entering his office building.
Over the weekend, journalist Salena Zito published a fundraising email Sims has sent out claiming to regret his actions (without acknowledging any specifics) for their negative impact on Planned Parenthood and fellow pro-abortion activists, not for having mistreated pro-lifers in any way:
— SalenaZito (@SalenaZito) May 18, 2019
“I recognize that my behavior was aggressive and that I acted in an inappropriate way,” Sims wrote. “For that, I am truly sorry. My emotions took over because I was, and am, angry.”
He then went on to justify his anger over a litany of alleged pro-life and conservative misdeeds, such as “pro-life protestors [sic] us[ing] white privilege and racism to attack people of color” in unspecified ways; pro-life laws “causing panic, anger, confusion, and rage for so many women”; gun violence, drug deaths, education spending, and more.
“All of this makes me angry, but in that moment, in that video, I should not have let my emotions get the best of me,” Sims said. “I should not have disrespected Planned Parenthood’s policies of not engaging with protestors. For that, I’m absolutely sorry […] To the staff, volunteers, and patients of Planned Parenthood, I’m sorry to have created this distraction.” He ended the email with a link to donate money to Planned Parenthood.
The email echoes Sims’ previous “apology” video in which he admitted only to being overly “aggressive,” while maintaining that he has spent years witnessing pro-life harassment of girls seeking “routine health care,” which his videos “should have shown” but simply left out.
Pennsylvania’s Republican House Speaker Mike Turzai responded to the email and those calling for Sims to be formally censured by linking the House GOP’s May 15 statement declaring they were “extremely disappointed that Rep. Sims’ actions have caused harm to his victims and to our chamber” and “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.”
Joe Garecht, the father of two of the girls Sims threatened to dox, expressed disappointment that 'words' appear to be the entirety of House Republicans’ response.
Remember that the eyes of the prolife world are on Pennsylvania right now. Elected officials that want prolife support in future races should keep that in mind as they decide how to handle this unfortunate incident.
— Joe Garecht (@joegarecht) May 19, 2019
“I remain disappointed that the legislature has not taken action against Mr Sims,” Garecht wrote. “His fundraising email shows he has absolutely no remorse.” He also warned Turzai and his colleagues to “remember that the eyes of the prolife world are on Pennsylvania right now.”
State GOP chairman Val DiGiorgio, GOP state Rep. Martina White, and GOP state Rep. Stan Saylor have also called on authorities such as U.S. attorney William McSwain, Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro, and Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner to investigate Sims’ actions, but no investigations have yet come of their calls.