Dem Rep Apologizes for Harassing Pro-Life Activists Ahead of Censure Resolution

Republican rep blasts State Rep. Brian Sims for ignoring earlier calls for apology

PA State Representative and Co-Host Brian Sims attends the House of Taylor dinner benefitting The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation at House of Taylor. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for ETAF)

The Pennsylvania Democratic lawmaker who harassed and threatened a group of pro-life teenagers outside a Planned Parenthood clinic has finally apologized, only after lawmakers weighed a censure resolution.

State Rep. Brian Sims sent a handwritten apology to Ashley Garecht and her family, which the family accepted, the Washington Examiner reported.

"We take him at his word, and we have already forgiven him," said Joe Garecht, Ashley Garecht's husband.

Sims had previously refused to apologize for the incident, but sent the note as the state legislature considered a resolution to censure him. Republican state Rep. Jerry Knowles withdrew the resolution after the apology became public.

"It’s sad that it took more than five months for Rep. Sims to acknowledge he did something very wrong, but he did finally apologize to the people he bullied, harassed and doxed at the Philadelphia abortion clinic," Knowles said in a press release. "Rep. Sims's own arrogance led me to call for a censure, but now that he finally acknowledged his wrongdoing, I am asking that the resolution be withdrawn. I hope the Representative learned something from this experience."

In April, Sims filmed a group of teenage girls demonstrating and praying outside an abortion clinic. He circulated the video on social media and offered $100 to anyone willing to reveal the identities of the girls.

Several videos showed Sims yelling at the activists outside of the clinic in Philadelphia, including Ashley Garecht, her two daughters, and a friend. He later returned to the same clinic and posted another video, in which he yelled at an elderly woman who was praying outside the clinic. He called the woman "disgusting," and attacked her faith.

"We can talk about your Christian faith, about how your Christian faith believes in shaming people, about how your Christian faith believes in telling people you know what's right for their bodies," he told her.

Immediately after the incident, Sims doubled down on Twitter. "Bring it, Bible Bullies! You are bigots, sexists, and misogynists and I see right through your fake morals and your broken values," he tweeted at Live Action, which posted a now-deleted video of Sims's harassment.