The Pennsylvania Democratic representative who harassed pro-lifers outside an abortion clinic and sparked a backlash within the pro-life community is apologizing to Planned Parenthood supporters.
“I’m sorry to have created this distraction,” State Rep. Brian Sims writes in a Planned Parenthood fundraising email.
The email was first reported by Salena Zito, a reporter for the New York Post and a CNN columnist.
Sims posted a video in early May showing him harassing and chasing a pro-life woman up and down a sidewalk in front of a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood. He claimed she had no “moral right” to be there. He also called her an “old white lady” four times. Earlier, he had posted a video showing him berating pro-life teenage girls in front of the same clinic. In both videos, he asked the audience to help him find the names and addresses of the pro-life protesters.
The videos ignited a backlash and led to a pro-life rally in front of the same clinic attended by some 1,000 people, Christian Headlines previously reported.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider.
“If you saw any of the national coverage of my actions throughout the last 10 days, I wanted to send an apology,” Sims writes in the email. “I recognize that my behavior was aggressive and that I acted in an inappropriate way. For that, I am truly sorry. My emotions took over because I was, and am, angry.”
Sims said he’s angry that “pro-life protestors use white privilege and racism to attack people of color in my district and across the nation, for seeking critical health care.” He’s angry that “there doesn’t seem to be a ‘pro-life’ sentiment for all – for all Americans and for Philadelphians.” He’s angry about abortion legislation in Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, Mississippi and anywhere.
“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,” he writes. “I should not have disrespected Planned Parenthood’s policies of no engaging with protestors. For that, I’m absolutely sorry.”
At the end of the email, he asks for financial support for Planned Parenthood:
“P.S. If you share in this anger and want to help ensure women have autonomy over their bodies here in Pennsylvania, you can join me in supporting Planned Parenthood with a contribution today.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Rachel Murray/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.