A jury on Monday determined that Mark Houck, a Pennsylvanian Catholic and pro-life activist who was accused of putting his hands on a Planned Parenthood escort during a dispute by an abortion clinic, is not guilty, according to a report by Life News.
Houck, who reportedly is a Catholic author and sidewalk counselor, expressed gratitude for the support of the pro-life community.
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) January 30, 2023
He was charged by the Biden Department of Justice with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to prevent somebody from getting abortion services, whether it be via force, physical obstruction, intentional injuries, or a myriad of other methods.
On the morning of September 24, 2022, FBI agents swarmed Houck’s rural home and arrested him in front of his seven children, who reportedly were “screaming” out of fear.
Houck, who pleaded not guilty, was potentially facing 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000.
The arrest came on Oct. 13, 2021, after a display beside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. A pro-abortion “escort” reportedly bullied and yelled obscene insults at Houck’s son, who had come with him to the clinic, according to Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie.
On several occasions when Mark went to sidewalk counsel last year, he took his eldest son, who was only 12 at the time, she explained. For “weeks and weeks,” a “pro-abortion protester” would speak to the boy saying “crude … inappropriate and disgusting things,” such as “you’re dad’s a fag,” and other statements that were too vulgar for her to convey.
The “pro-abortion protestor” allegedly had been verbally attacking the 12-year-old boy for “weeks and weeks,” saying, “crude … inappropriate and disgusting things,” such as “your dad’s a f*g,” and other things that American Greatness reports were too offensive for her to repeat.
Ryan-Marie recounted that Mark had demanded the person no longer speak to his son and that he “kept doing it and kind of came into [the son’s] personal space.” She said Mark responded by “shov[ing] him away from his child, and the guy fell back.”
“He didn’t have any injuries or anything, but he tried to sue Mark,” she said.
The local city police and district attorney alike had decided to not file charges following the incident. It only went to trial after the Biden DOJ chose to charge Mark for a potential violation of the FACE Act.