The Lead

Dem Rep. Brian Sims makes national headlines in viral video condemning Planned Parenthood protesters

By: - May 7, 2019 12:41 pm

State Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia (screen capture)

A Democratic state lawmaker from Philadelphia is facing mounting criticism after he posted a Twitter video of himself haranguing women outside an abortion clinic.

Rep. Brian Sims is seen in the May 2 video berating the woman, who were protesting outside the offices of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, asking them, “Have you fed any children today? Or have you just stood out in front of a Planned Parenthood shaming people for what they have a constitutional right to do?”

The video sparked national headlines, with outlets ranging from Newsweek to Fox News picking it up. But Sims is no stranger to controversy. He’s previously made news for feuding with Republican colleagues and flipping off Vice President Mike Pence.

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Val DiGiorgio demanded a criminal investigation of Sims’ “despicable conduct,” saying in a statement that Sims’ behavior toward the protesters was “outrageous.”

“We have now seen how far Rep. Sims will go as there is a second video where he solicits the identifying information of teenagers exercising their First Amendment rights as a means to further intimidate and/or harass them,” DiGiorgio said.

The woman only spoke to tell Sims to “get your camera out of my face. It’s none of your business.” He responds by asking for someone to find her address so people can protest outside her house.

“There is nothing Christian about what you’re doing,” Sims says. “There is nothing loving, there is nothing kind.”

The video has sparked backlash on social media from national politicians like Ted Cruz as well as groups opposed to abortion rights, who highlighted the video earlier this week.

Another video posted by the founder of Live Action shows Sims pointing to a group of four women praying outside a Planned Parenthood and offers $100 to identify them.

Again taking to Twitter, Sims rebutted his critics.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.