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Acquitted: Pro-life father found not guilty

'The Biden Department of Justice’s intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place'

Posted by

January 31, 2023


06:47 AM

Acquitted: Pro-life father found not guilty

In a win for the pro-life movement, a federal jury Monday acquitted pro-life activist and father of seven Mark Houck of charges brought against him by the Biden administration last year, according to the Washington Times.

Houck was praying with his 12-year-old son in front of a Planned Parenthood in 2021 when a Planned Parenthood “escort” —  someone who walks people to the clinic doors to protect them from “harassment” — allegedly began harassing Houck’s son. The two moved away from the entrance to the building, but the escort followed them and continued yelling at the child. At that point, Houck allegedly pushed him away. 

The escort pressed charges against Houck in 2021, which were ultimately dismissed by a federal court — but Biden’s Justice Department picked up the case anyway. The DoJ charged Houck with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a felony “to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate and interfere with anyone because that person produces reproductive health care.”

If convicted, Houck could have been sentenced to 11 years in prison and a $350,000 fine.

“This is a win for Mark and the entire pro-life movement,” Houck’s attorney, Thomas More Society Executive Vice President Peter Breen, commented on the acquittal. “The Biden Department of Justice’s intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.”

While the jury’s decision is relieving for the Houck family, it may not erase the trauma from the ordeal.

Around 7:00 AM on a Friday in September of last year, the Houcks were visited by 15–20 FBI agents, guns drawn, who began pounding on the door and shouting for Houck to come out of the house. Houck tried telling the agents that they were scaring the children, but the agents continued shouting. 

“They had big, huge rifles pointed at Mark and pointed at me and kind of pointed throughout the house,” said Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, though the FBI denied pointing the guns at anyone. “The kids were all just screaming. It was all just very scary and traumatic,” she added. 

GiveSendGo fundraiser for the Houcks was created by Joe and Ashley Garecht, whose two young daughters were harassed in 2019 by then-Rep. Brian Sims (D-PA) as they prayed outside an abortion center. After harassing the girls for several minutes, Sims videoed them and offered $100 to anyone who could provide their identities. The girls were 13 and 15 years old at the time.

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