Pro-lifers fought back after Pennsylvania lawmaker Brian Sims posted a video of himself verbally abusing pro-lifers in two separate videos. In one video, he attacked a woman praying alone. In the other, he berated a woman and teen girls who were demonstrating and praying outside the clinic.
In addition to berating the girls, he offered his followers $100 to publicly identify any of the people in the video. He claimed that he was doing these things because pro-lifers are hateful.
In response, blogger Matt Walsh and Live Action's Lila Rose—with the help of others—pulled together a last-minute protest. Hundreds of pro-lifers came from all over the country to offer support for the women and the movement in general.
Demonstrators from the pro-life group Live Action blocked Locust Street outside the Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center. They called it a "Pro-Life Rally Against Bullying," some chanted "resign now."
Sims, is a Philadelphia Democrat representative. In the video he posted, he told the women, "Shame on you. What you're doing here is disgusting. This is wrong. You have no business being out here."
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput responded to the issue. He urged area Catholics and those against abortion to "channel their indignation into right action and prayerful witness." He also urged Catholics to join the protest.
"I'm encouraging broad participation in this peaceful initiative," Chaput said. "Let us meet the hateful actions of Representative Sims with the love of Christ and let us fervently pray for respect for life from conception to natural death."
Replies to Sims' Facebook account accused him of bullying the woman and harassing her as she prayed in a public place. Even liberals did not condone his actions.
In the second video, Sims is shown yelling at Ashley Garecht along with her two daughters—ages 15 and 13—and their friend, outside the Planned Parenthood.
"No grown man should act that way toward any minor under any situation," Garecht said. "Mr. Sims is a large man. I'm a tall woman. But of course, he had an imposing physical presence."
In response to Sims offer to pay $100 to anyone who could identify the girls, the family has raised money. They've raised $100,000 for the Pro-Life Union of Philadelphia in two days because of the video.
On Tuesday, Val DiGiorgio, the chairman of the state Republican Party, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney William McSwain, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner asking for a criminal investigation into Sims' conduct in the videos.
"Not only does Rep. Sims, a former collegiate-level football quarterback, use physical intimidation, but he also threatens people with so-called 'doxing' or enticing viewers to provide identifiable information about his targets to increase the harassment and intimidation of his victims," DiGiorgio wrote.
The pro-life response to Sims actions has been strong. They took his bullying and turned it into a positive moment to pray for women and babies harmed by abortion.
Wow! What an amazing response! Please join us in praying for an end to all abortion.