Monday, May 20, 2019 - Updated: 10:38 am
PHILADELPHIA — More than 1,000 people gathered in Philadelphia May 10 to demonstrate against recent social media videos of a Pennsylvania lawmaker berating people for praying outside of an abortion clinic.
The “Pro-Life Rally Against Bullying” took place in front of the Planned Parenthood facility in Downtown Philadelphia where the week before Democratic state Rep. Brian Sims had confronted pro-life demonstrators and posted two videos on social media in which he asked for donations to the abortion center while offering money to viewers who could provide the identities and addresses of the activists.
Shortly after the videos emerged on social media, the national organization Live Action organized a rally in response that featured representatives from the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Family Council, 40 Days for Life, Students for Life, Sidewalk Advocates for Life, Sidewalk Servants and the Susan B. Anthony List.
A similar morning rally was held in Pittsburgh May 10, organized by local leaders of 40 Days for Life. Pro-life activists gathered outside the Planned Parenthood facility on Liberty Avenue to pray and give peaceful witness.
Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, served as the moderator of the Philadelphia event. She called for Sims’ resignation, but also said the event was organized for a “much bigger reason” — to stand for the dignity of human life, a point emphasized in several other speeches at the rally.
Rose said: “Over 900 babies are killed every day at Planned Parenthood facilities across the U.S., and 2,600 across the nation at abortion clinics.”
Author and speaker Matt Walsh, who had called for the rally through a series of Twitter posts, said “abortion is not a reproductive issue, but a parenting decision,” since “by the time the abortion happens, reproduction has already occurred.”
He said he hoped the rally would become a regular event.
Several speakers directly addressed Sims’ claims that the pro-life advocates he had filmed were racist.
Toni McFadden, founder of Relationships Matter, described her own experience as an African-American teenager who had turned to Planned Parenthood for an abortion induced through an abortifacient prescription. In speaking engagements, McFadden now shares her insights on post-abortion healing and spiritual development “so that no more babies need to die because of convenience.”