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Acquitted Pro-Life Activist Mark Houck Tells Congress FBI Raided His Home ‘To Instill Fear In Pro-Life America’

Pro-Life Activist Mark Houck Testifies Before House Judiciary Subcommittee

Mark Houck, a Catholic pro-life activist, recounted the terrifying moment when federal and state law enforcement authorities raided his home with guns last year on accusations he blocked others from entering an abortion clinic. Speaking in front of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government, Houck shared, “My home was raided by ten unmarked units, state troopers, federal law enforcement personnel. I had five federal agents on my doorstep at 6:30 in the morning, with long guns pointed at me and my seven children.”

Acquitted of FACE Act Violation

Houck, who leads a nonprofit group that counsels women outside of abortion clinics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, testified in front of the subcommittee members during a hearing to revisit the implications of the FACE Act. The federal law prohibits people from blocking others from entering an abortion clinic and examines recent attacks on pregnancy centers, pro-life facilities, and the Biden Administration’s use of the federal statute. Houck was acquitted in January after federal authorities threatened him with 11 years in prison for allegedly violating the FACE Act, a federal crime making it illegal to injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone due to their status as a reproductive health care provider.

FBI Raid

Months before a jury acquitted the pro-life activist, FBI agents in 15 vehicles raided his residence, quickly surrounded the house, and began pounding on the door, demanding they open up. Houck believes the FBI raided his home to “humiliate me, to scare my children, and to instill fear in pro-life America.”

Attacks on Pro-Life Advocates and Facilities

Chairman Mike Johnson (R-LA) said he believes that the Biden administration has displayed “a clear double standard” of enforcing the FACE Act in a way that protects pro-abortion activists and facilities while substantially ignoring attacks on pro-life advocates, facilities, and churches. Since the historic ruling first made headlines last summer, CatholicVote reported at least 87 pregnancy resource centers and pro-life groups have been attacked and vandalized. Arielle Del Turco, director for the Center for Religious Liberty at Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., told Congress that 420 incidents occurred in 45 states and Washington, D.C. between January 2018 and September 2022, including 342 occurrences of vandalism, 58 arson attacks or attempts, 12 gun-related incidents, 11 bomb threats, and 19 other incidences involving assault, threats, interruption of worship services.

Conclusion

The hearing shed light on the ongoing attacks on pro-life advocates and facilities and the need for equal enforcement of the FACE Act. It also highlighted the importance of protecting the rights of individuals to peacefully protest and counsel women outside of abortion clinics without fear of intimidation or violence.



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