A Democratic Hill staffer who recently doxxed Republican Senators, releasing their personal information, and then threatened a witness who caught him in the act is facing nearly 5 years in jail for his admitted crimes. This leads me to wonder what the legal penalty might be for Pennsylvania State Rep. Brian Sims who harassed Students for Life volunteers, teenagers, peacefully praying outside a Philadelphia abortion facility, threatening to expose them and draw potentially dangerous people to the teenagers’ homes. Not only has Sims not apologized to the women and girls involved, this week we learn that he sent a fundraising pitch for Planned Parenthood, apologizing to abortion advocates. Where is the outrage from the self-appointed guardians of freedom and women’s rights in the media or in so-called women’s organizations for an elected official targeting high school girls? Where is the investigation into Sims’ self-published intimidation?
If that isn’t enough of a cyber-stalking, #MeToo moment, Sims also videotaped himself threatening an elderly woman with the same violence, adding this ominous message that the police she was attempting to call were well known to him and able to protect his constitutional rights (but not hers one assumes from the tone.)
“What you’re doing here is disgusting,” he says to the woman. “Shame on you. Shame. Shame. Shame on you. … How dare you. This is grotesque.”
In fact, Sims would make a fine High Sparrow on Game of Thrones, as he follows the quiet woman, walking alone, as he chants “Shame, Shame, Shame,” berating her for praying in public … something he suggests should only happen behind closed doors at home.
Makes you wonder what constitutional rights he believes the police are trained to protect. Freedom of Religion? The right to assemble and peacefully address elected officials, something Sims currently is? Free speech?
We live in a day in which attempting to harm people using social media is an act of violence and bullying that is addressed in the law. In fact, Sims may not even have had the legal right to record his elderly victim’s comments. And yet a disturbing trend among Democratic activists is underway. Sadly, this is not a tactic of a distant fringe. Members of Congress have approved of this harassment and call for it. Sims himself is called a rising star in the Democratic Party.
When Ashley Garecht, a mother of four, took two 15-year-old girls and a 13-year old girl to compassionately pray for women, babies and clinic workers outside an abortion vendor in Philadelphia, she never expected an agitated, more than 6-foot-tall male to try and expose the minors to aggressors in social media. She repeatedly had to put herself between the girls and the politician who targeted them in his tirade.
“The whole thing was a shocking experience for them,” Garecht told me, noting that the girls intend to keep fighting for the pro-life cause and to remain active in their high school Students for Life group. Yet Garecht and her husband took the precaution of filing a police report because of the potential risks to the girls from those who may be activated by the incident.
Tracking the attacks against pro-life speech takes up a lot of time in the organization that I head, which includes more than 1,200 groups on college, university and high school campuses in all 50 states. Posters featuring my image were torched recently at Western Washington University and peaceful pro-life demonstrators have been viciously attacked. This trending violence marks a disturbing change in our current politics.
Most of us remember from our history classes how domineering movements and thuggish governments use intimidation and force to end debate. History seems to be repeating itself for the pro-life movement today, but as Garecht’s family illustrates there is passionate support for the least of these. “Sometimes doing the right thing is hard,” she reminded her daughters and their friend.
Sims was very upset that the women he approached at a Planned Parenthood had opinions on whether girls in the womb were as important as women who agree with him on abortion. Hopefully, his conduct in targeting women for doxxing will be appropriately addressed and universally condemned.
But the tide is turning toward support for life among the American people. For the pro-life generation, “I’m with Her – born and preborn” because human potential is not limited to those who are favored by a few politicians.