A jury acquitted pro-life activist Mark Houck on Monday of federal charges tied to a 2021 incident.
The 48-year-old Catholic father was charged with violating the FACE Act following an altercation with a volunteer at an abortion clinic in Philadelphia. The federal jury made its decision after being previously deadlocked.
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Houck had been accused of running afoul of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which prohibits “violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services.”
“We are, of course, thrilled with the outcome,” said Peter Breen, executive vice president and head of litigation for the Thomas More Society, which represented Houck in court. “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 added, “The jury saw through and rejected the prosecution’s discriminatory case, which was harassment from day one. This is a win for Mark and the entire pro-life movement. The Biden Department of Justice’s intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.”
Houck’s name was splashed across national headlines in the fall of last year, when the FBI raided his home in a massive show of force. Critics were quick to condemn the raid, with many questioning whether President Joe Biden’s administration was politically motivated to set its sights on the pro-life activist.
While the federal government insists Houck was, of course, guilty of violating the FACE Act, the Pennsylvania father insists he was innocent of the charges.
Prior to the raid, attorneys with the Thomas More Society claimed to have sent emails to the FBI, explicitly offering to bring their client in for questioning — an attempt to bypass any inconvenience or danger that could have accompanied a public arrest. Those emails, according to Houck’s attorneys, were unanswered — until heavily armed federal agents showed up at his home early one Friday morning.
This is a developing story.
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