(ReclaimingAmerica.net) – Catholic pro-life activist Mark Houck has been acquitted of charges under the FACE Act over an altercation with a Planned Parenthood escort in 2021.
National Review reported the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania had cleared Houck of all criminal charges.
The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act adopted in 1994 bans “violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services.”
The prominent pro-life activist had been accused of assaulting 72-year-old Bruce Love outside a clinic in Pennsylvania in October 2021.
According to the claims of the US Justice Department, Houck “forcefully shoved” Love to the ground while the latter was trying to escort two patients out of the Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood clinic.
The DOJ also alleged that, on another occasion, outside the same clinic, Houck first verbally confronted Love and then shoved him to the ground. As a result, the volunteer allegedly suffered injuries requiring medical help.
Houck, however, revealed that he shoved Love after the abortionist volunteer yelled at the former’s 12-year-old son and invaded the child’s personal space.
The Catholic pro-life activist said he went to speak outside abortion clinics weekly, sometimes taking his son with him.
Last September, Houck was arrested by the FBI in front of his family. The arrest led Houck’s lawyer to accuse the Biden administration’s Justice Department of singling out his client “solely to intimidate people of faith and pro-life Americans.”
“Rather than accepting Mark Houck’s offer to appear voluntarily, the Biden Department of Justice chose to make an unnecessary show of potentially deadly force, sending twenty heavily armed federal agents to the Houck residence at dawn this past Friday,” said Peter Breen, Houck’s attorney who is the Vice President of the Thomas More Society, a nonprofit law firm.
“In threatening form, after nearly breaking down the family’s front door, at least five agents pointed guns at Mark’s head and arrested him in front of his wife and seven young children who were terrified that their husband and father would be shot dead before their eyes,” Breen elaborated.
In September, the FBI disputed the lawyer’s description of the events surrounding Houck’s arrest.
“FBI agents knocked on Mr. Houck’s front door, identified themselves as FBI agents, and asked him to exit the residence. He did so and was taken into custody without incident pursuant to an indictment,” the FBI field office in Philadelphia said.
Houck’s attorney celebrated the court ruling clearing his client of any FACE Act violations.
“We are, of course, thrilled with the outcome. Mark and his family are now free of the cloud that the Biden administration threw upon them. We took on Goliath — the full might of the United States government — and won,” Breen declared.
A jury acquitted pro-life activist Mark Houck, who was charged with violating the FACE Act over a skirmish with a Planned Parenthood volunteer outside a clinic. | @brittybernstein https://t.co/HBCrVJB5PL
— National Review (@NRO) January 30, 2023