A Catholic church outside of Philadelphia was vandalized over the weekend with a spray-painted message, “You do not have the right to decide how others lives #prochoice.”
NBC affiliate WCAU reported that police released surveillance video, which captured a vandal in dark clothing spray-painting the Notre Dame de Lourdes parish in Swarthmore on Sunday at 3:17 a.m.
The side of the building was also tagged with the message “#ProChoice.”
“You do not have the right to decide how others live, #prochoice.” A vandal or vandals spray-painted pro-choice graffiti on a Delaware County church. Details HERE: https://t.co/YOC03PhlG1 pic.twitter.com/ARVxrtBgou
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) May 19, 2019
Parishioner Jessica Prince told CBS affiliate KWY-TV, “It was very shocking to come up to the church and see that.”
“I’d have to say the first half of mass was me crying the whole time because I was so upset somebody would do that to the church,” she added.
#RidleyTwp. Police was called to Notre Dame de Lourdes Church yesterday for a report on vandalism. Spray painted on the front doors was, “You do not have the right to decide how people live #prochoice” https://t.co/hQ18tmRVG0 pic.twitter.com/w2TxPxcMg7
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) May 20, 2019
“If people wanted to come and stand outside our church and protest our beliefs, go for it,” Prince said, “but vandalizing a property, I think, is taking it way too far.”
A spokesperson for the Philadelphia Archdiocese told KWY-TV the parishioners removed the graffiti on Sunday afternoon.
The incident came a little more than a week after the pro-life “Rally Against Bullying” outside of a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood facility.
— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) May 10, 2019
KWY-TV reported more than 1,000 protesters were on-hand at the LiveAction organized event to highlight the actions of Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Brian Sims, who harassed pro-life supporters praying outside of the facility during Easter week.
Sims recorded himself saying to one woman, “She is an old white lady who’s going to try to avoid showing you her face.”
“Who would have thought that an old white lady would be out in front of a Planned Parenthood telling people what is right for their bodies,” he said. “Shame on you.”
In another video, Sims tried to find out the identity of pro-life teenage girls praying near the facility, offering money for the information.
USA Today reported that the state legislator further stated: “A bunch of white people, standing out in front of Planned Parenthood shaming people. There is nothing Christian about what you’re doing.”
Sims also harassed Ashley Garecht, who told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that two of the teenagers in the video were her daughters — ages 13 and 15 — and another teen, also 15, who was a friend.
Carlson noted that Sims called Garecht a racist for praying at the abortion facility.
“He called you racist, but as I understand it, you’re arguing for few abortions among African-American women. He’s arguing for more, but you’re the racist” Carlson said. “Does that make sense?”
“No, it doesn’t make sense to me,” Garecht answered, also pointing out they were praying for all women and babies, regardless of race.
Last week, Sims admitted his actions were inappropriate.
“My emotions took over because I was, and am, angry,” Sims said in a statement. “I’m angry that despite abortion being legal everywhere, anti-choice zealots are causing panic, anger, confusion, and rage for so many women.”
“I should not have disrespected Planned Parenthood’s policies of not engaging with protesters. For that, I’m absolutely sorry,” he said.
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