Mom praying with teens outside abortion clinic tells of clash with Dem: ‘I was concerned for my girls’
A mother of two teenage daughters, who was seen in a confrontation with a Democrat state lawmaker outside a Pennsylvania abortion clinic last month, told her side of the story Tuesday night on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“I was concerned for my girls, you can see me speaking in that video,” Ashley Garecht told host Tucker Carlson. “I was genuinely trying to enter into just a dialogue with him to try to bring the situation, calm it down a little bit and say to him on film we are really here just praying for these women and babies.”
Garecht, along with her two teenage daughters and their teenage friend, say they were praying outside a southeastern Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood clinic on April 18 when Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, whose district is in Philadelphia, began confronting them “aggressively” and accusing them of protesting the clinic.
According to Garecht, Sims then briefly left, but returned with a camera and filmed Garecht and the girls. He then offered viewers money if anyone would reveal the teens’ identities.
“So, here’s the deal,” Sims is heard saying in the video. “I’ve got $100 to anybody who will identify these three, and I will donate to Planned Parenthood.”
Sims posted the video on his Facebook page, but then posted an apology Tuesday.
“I will fiercely protect a woman’s right to make the best choices for her health & her body, unimpeded. I also know that two wrongs don’t make a right, especially on the front lines of a civil rights battle. I can do better, and I will do better, for the women of Pennsylvania,” Sims wrote in a message accompanying the video.
Garecht told Carlson she had no intention of getting involved in an altercation.
“I never come to a clinic looking for a fight,” she said. “It’s always just with peaceful, prayerful intent. Yes, I was concerned that he said multiple times that he wanted the identities of my daughters. We were, at that point, already done. We had finished our prayers.”
“We were leaving and so when I realized he was not going to enter into any kind of productive dialogue I thought we will just continue our exit and we will just leave,” she said.
Just last week, Sims went on an eight-minute video rant, verbally harassing an elderly woman protesting outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic.
The state representative recorded the woman outside the same clinic in Philadelphia, which is in his district, telling her to pray at home, calling her an “old white lady” and lecturing her about her Christian beliefs on the Periscope app.
Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.
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