The Corner

Politics & Policy

A Thousand Pro-Life Protestors Pray outside Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia

State Rep. Brian Sims during debate in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2016. (Pennsylvania House Video/via YouTube)

Philadelphia — At 1144 Locust Street in Philadelphia, in front of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, at least a thousand pro-life protestors gathered on the spot where, one week ago, state representative Brian Sims filmed himself harassing a peaceful woman praying outside the clinic.

“She is an old white lady, who is going to try to avoid showing you her face,” Sims said of the woman from behind the camera, angling it to capture her on tape. He then harassed her for several minutes, calling her “disgusting” and “racist,” and repeating “shame on you.” At one point, he asked viewers to identify her and give her address so that he could protest outside her house.

Sims also filmed himself several weeks ago harassing pro-life teenage girls who were peacefully protesting on the sidewalk, offering viewers $100 to identify them.

After Sims tweeted the video last weekend of himself bullying the older woman, the incident received national coverage from conservative media and pro-life commentators, leading Daily Wire writer Matt Walsh to suggest on Twitter that pro-life people respond with a rally in Philadelphia.

The response was overwhelming, and almost overnight, pro-life groups such as Live Action jumped in to organize the event. At 11 a.m. this morning, close to a thousand opponents of abortion gathered on the street and sidewalk, which was blocked off by police cars. Planned Parenthood clinic volunteer escorts stood on the corners, and one told National Review he was there to make sure women who wanted to get into the clinic would be able to do so.

Among the speakers at the rally were Walsh; Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action; Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who now operates And Then There Were None, which helps abortion-clinic workers leave their jobs; the mother of the teenage girls Sims attempted to identify on film; and volunteers from the local group Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia.

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