Conservative commentator Matt Walsh lit a match within the pro-life community Monday when he suggested holding a pro-life rally outside of the Philadelphia abortion clinic where PA Rep. Brian Sims (D) filmed himself last week harassing a group of women praying for the unborn.
“…let’s get it organized,” he tweeted.
The response to Walsh’s call was overwhelming, with pro-life giants and members of the media expressing interest in the event. Former Planned Parenthood director and “Unplanned” subject Abby Johnson, Live Action founder Lila Rose, Philly-based columnist Christine Flowers and pro-life speaker and obstetrician Dr. Monique Rubero were among those who said they’d attend.
On Tuesday morning, Walsh announced that an official time and location had been set for the rally.
“The rally is planned for 11 AM on Friday at the Planned Parenthood on 1144 Locust St in Philly,” Walsh tweeted, noting that “a bunch of different pro-life groups reached out” after seeing his initial tweet and plans “came together quickly.”
“We invite @BrianSimsPA to come with his camera!” he added.
Philly mother Ashley Garecht, who was targeted by Sims while standing outside the clinic with her two teenage daughters, also confirmed her attendance, The Daily Wire reported.
Garecht and her family serve as sidewalk volunteers for the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia. After calling them “disgusting” and “extremely racist,” Sims used $100 to try to bribe Garecht’s daughters and their friend into releasing their identities.
“My sincere hope is that real good can come from this crazy situation, that the pro-life union of Philadelphia would be able to raise significant funds to support their critical mission in Philadelphia as they try to support women and their children, especially the unborn, and help get out the word about options and alternatives to abortion that are available to mothers in Philadelphia and its five surrounding counties,” Garecht told The Daily Wire.
The Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia has set up a GoFundMe account in response to the gathering.
While many voiced their disgust with the aggressive manner in which Sims, a former college football lineman, targeted peaceful protesters, the Democrat lawmaker has doubled-down on his hateful views. In a video response to the backlash he received, Sims explained why his intimidation tactics were permissible in his eyes.
“I’ve received a lot of feedback about a video I posted last week, and I wanted to provide some background,” he said in the video posted to his Twitter account. “I’ve lived across the street or next to do this particular planned parenthood, One of the most heavily protested Planned Parenthood in America.”
“I’ve also spent the last seven years serving as a volunteer patient escort at this Planned Parenthood,” he continued. “And I’ve seen firsthand the insults, the slurs, the attacks and the racism that those protesters aim at mostly young girls going there for clinical care.”
“As an activist and an advocate I know why pushing back against harassment and discrimination are a must even when they’re uncomfortable, but last week I wasn’t a patient escort, I was a neighbor and a concerned citizen, and I was aggressive,” Sims said, adding, ”I know that two wrongs don’t make a right, and I can do better, and I will do better for the women of Pennsylvania.”
Please pray for the peace and protection of all those planning to attend Friday’s rally.