Catholic League: PA Gov't Needs to 'Condemn the Vicious Attack' on Woman Praying by Rep. Brian Sims

By Michael W. Chapman | May 8, 2019 | 1:00pm EDT
Bill Donohue, president of the
Catholic League. (YouTube)

( -- In reference to Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims (D-District 182), who filmed and badgered a woman praying outside of a Planned Parenthood abortion office, Catholic League President Bill Donohue announced that his organization is contacting every member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and asking them "to take a vote of censure" against Sims.

Donohue further said that the Catholic League is asking House Ethics Committee Chairman Frank A. Farry (R) "to introduce a resolution to formally condemn the vicious attacks by Sims on an elderly Catholic woman."  The Ethics Committee handles cases of "misconduct in legislative duties," and what Sims did "may also be criminal," said Donohue. 

"Sims recorded himself bullying what he called 'an old white lady,'" said Donohue in a statement.  "What provoked him? She was praying, with a rosary in hand, in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic."

"For eight uninterrupted minutes, Sims badgered her, telling her to go pray at home," said Donohue. "When she asked him to stop, he followed her around and threatened to make her home address public so that others could harass her."

In the video, Sims, among other things, says, “Today’s protester, she is an old white lady who’s going to try to avoid showing you her face. … I have a couple questions for you, ma’am, how many children have you clothed today? I’m sorry, I missed your answer. Are children going to be clothed today? ... Have you fed any children today or have you just stood out in front of a Planned Parenthood shaming people over something they have a constitutional right to do?"

“Who would have thought that an old white lady would be out in front of a Planned Parenthood telling people what’s right for their bodies," states Sims, who describes himself on Twitter as an "LGBTQ activist." "Shame on you! Shame on you for hiding your face at the same time that you’re shaming other people. … Shame on you! What you’re doing out here is disgusting. Yep, disgusting!"

He continues, "an old white lady telling people what’s right to do with their bodies. Shame on you! Shame! Shame! Shame on you! There’s no faith that tells you you are right and everybody else is wrong. … This is disgusting. This is wrong. This is shameful."

"If you’re a white person like I am, we have  a lot of catching up to do," claims Sims.  "We have a lot to apologize for. I’m going to start by apologizing for this woman – shame on you! What you’re doing here is disgusting! It’s an attack on common sense. It’s an attack on the Constitution. … And don’t convince yourself that what you’re doing isn’t extremely racist."


The Catholic League noted that on May 2, along with the video, Sims had tweeted that Planned Parenthood protesters "prey on young women, they use white privilege, & shame. They're racist, classist, bigots who NEED & DESERVE our righteous opposition. Push back, please!"

Sims also railed against the Catholic Church, reported Donohue.  "How many Catholic churches are you protesting in front of? There are 400 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania indicted for child molestation," claimed Sims.  

"This bigot can't even get that right," said Donohue, only "two were indicted."

(Twitter screenshot.)

"Sims does not belong in public office, but he may very well belong in jail," said Donohue. "At the very least, he needs to be censured by his colleagues, including his fellow Democrats. Not to do so would be to send an unmistakable message to Catholics—indeed to people of all religions—that they can be harassed, intimidated, and placed in danger by a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives without ever paying a price for his unconscionable behavior."

On May 7, following a lot of blowback and criticism for his harassment of a private citizen, Rep. Sims posted another video in which he defended Planned Parenthood and related that he uses the facility to "treat for my own life-saving PrEP medication." But he did not apologize for his remarks when he badgered the woman praying the rosary, or when he harassed a mother and her three daughters in another videotaped exchange.  Sims only claimed he was "aggressive." 

"I know two wrongs don't make a right," he said. "I can do better and I will do better for the women of Pennsylvania." 

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