Pro-Life sidewalk counselor Mark Houck was acquitted after facing bogus charges and a raid of his home by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This is not only justice for Houck, but a victory for Pro-Life advocates across America who have become the target of wrongful scrutiny by the brazenly anti-Life Biden administration.
On October 13, 2021, Houck, a Pro-Life advocate and sidewalk counselor, and his pre-teen son were praying outside of an abortion site when an aggressive “clinic escort” named Bruce Love began to harass Houck’s minor son. Now-former abortion escort Love repeatedly harassed Houck and his son over the course of the day. However, things began to escalate as Love got within a few feet of Houck’s son and began yelling profanity at the boy. After Houck repeatedly asked Love to back away from the boy, Houck placed himself as a physical barrier to protect his son, causing Love to fall down.
Around a year after the incident, for which local authorities found no violation of the law, federal charges were brought against Houck under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. Signed into law in 1994 by President Clinton, the FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of violence against abortion facility workers or interfering with someone attempting to obtain an abortion. However, Houck was acting in the defense of his son, and did not attempt or intend to injure Love.
After he was charged under the FACE Act, Houck’s home was raided in the middle of the night, while his wife and children were sleeping inside, by over two dozen fully-armed FBI agents. This response is wildly disproportionate to the altercation for which Houck was charged.
The FACE Act does not cover one-on-one interactions. Thankfully, the jury recognized this, taking just over an hour to acquit Houck of his charges. Were Houck found guilty, he would have faced up to 10 years in prison — for simply defending his son from harassment while standing up for preborn Life.
After being given the news of the jury’s decision to acquit him, Houck expressed, “[I’m] grateful for the justice that we feel finally served.”
Peter Breen, head of litigation at the Thomas More Society which represented Houck in his trial, told reporters outside of the United States Court House in Philadelphia, “From day one this case has been an intimidation tactic by the Biden Department of Justice… This matter is one that never should have gotten the attention of the Department of Justice. Our hope here is that a message was sent to Washington D.C. to stop this harassment of sidewalk counselors who are just trying to provide alternatives to those who are facing an abortion decision.”
Texas Right to Life, along with Pro-Life Americans across the country, celebrate Houck’s freedom after defending his son and advocating for Life!
Houck now plans to sue the FBI for raiding his home. This forthcoming suit will hopefully lead to an even stronger message to the Biden Department of Justice to stop targeting Pro-Life Americans for their convictions and advocacy.