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.
Push back against Planned Parenthood protestors, PLEASE! They prey on young women, they use white privilege, & shame. They’re racist, classist, bigots who NEED & DESERVE our righteous opposition. Push back, please! #YouAreStrongEnough https://t.co/rYQOiAhC0D
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) May 2, 2019
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.
WATCH: Pennsylvania State Representative @BrianSimsPA harasses an elderly woman who is peacefully advocating for the lives of preborn human beings and women who are considering abortion.
This is shameful. https://t.co/Xb9pkFZSXC
— Live Action (@LiveAction) May 5, 2019
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.
In this video, State Rep @BrianSimsPA says he’ll pay his followers $100 if they are able to dox three teen girls he films who are quietly praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. How is this guy still allowed to be on Twitter? pic.twitter.com/yfNCHhRSqY
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) May 6, 2019
Again taking to Twitter, Sims rebutted his critics.
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) May 5, 2019
“Don’t discriminate against our discrimination. Don’t bully our bullies. Don’t hate our haters.” – Pussy Grabbers and Baby Cagers
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) May 6, 2019