Pro-Life Activist Whose Home Was Raided by FBI Gives 'All Thanks to God' After Being Vindicated in Court
Pro-Life activist Mark Houck praised God for a Philadelphia jury’s decision Tuesday to find him not guilty of violating federal law in regards to a 2021 pushing incident involving a Planned Parenthood escort.
The incident took place near a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood facility, where Houck, accompanied by his 12-year-old son, was conducting sidewalk counseling.
Houck, 49, recounted to Fox News host Sean Hannity Tuesday night that the escort, named Bruce Love, repeatedly kept coming up to his son and saying vulgar things.
“My son moves behind me. I can tell he’s visibly scared. There proceeds to be further insults at me, directed at my son about me, and at this point, I step in and tell Mr. Love…to go back to where he normally stands” near the clinic entrance.
“I tell him to stop talking to my son. He doesn’t have permission to talk to his son. Next thing I know he turns around and he’s talking to my son again.”
When Love did not comply, Houck shoved him away.
Fox showed surveillance footage of the incident during the interview starting at the two-minute mark in the video below.
Local prosecutors declined to press charges against Houck and a state court judge dismissed a criminal complaint Love filed.
Federal prosecutors then stepped in the summer of 2022 and charged Houck with a Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) violation.
A conviction would have carried up to an 11-year prison sentence and $350,000 in fines.
In a Wednesday morning Fox interview, Houck said regarding his acquittal, “I would just give all thanks to God for the result that we have.”
“We had a local problem, a father’s rights, basically a dad trying to protect his son. It was handled in the local courts, dismissed in the local courts, but the federal government picked it up five days after the dismissal. Decided to make a case of it,” Houck explained.
“The federal government did come after me with the full force of the law and raided my home on September 23 as a response to that, and here we are four months after that raid, vindicated hopefully with no issue with appeal,” he said.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer asked the father of seven why he thought the federal government targeted him.
“I’m a pro-lifer. I’ve been an activist for 20-plus years. We all know what happened in June. We all know that Roe v. Wade was overturned,” he said.
“Why do you think they came after you?”
Pro-life activist Mark Houck: “I’m a pro-lifer….We all know what happened in June. We all know that Roe v Wade was overturned. Does it sound like a coincidence…? This is a good time to come after pro-lifers…” pic.twitter.com/G4zJlGWYJy
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) February 1, 2023
Hemmer asked Houck to confirm details about the FBI raid of his home.
The Pennsylvania man responded that a combined over 20 agents and state police troops showed up in 10 to 15 vehicles at his home at 6:45 in the morning. His wife and children were still in bed.
The law enforcement officers were in full SWAT gear, with weapons drawn.
Following the raid last fall, Houck’s attorney Peter Breen with the Thomas More Society stated that he had been in touch with the Department of Justice prosecutors prior to it. He communicated that his client would voluntarily surrender to authorities, if they wanted to arrest him, but the FBI conducted the raid anyway.
“What in the world would possess the Department of Justice to send 20 or so heavily armed agents to this family’s home, violate the sanctity of that home, frighten the children and then drag their father away instead of allowing us to present him peacefully, which we had offered to do?” Breen questioned at the time.
“This is a political prosecution,” he concluded. “They want to intimidate — they want to cause good people like Mark to stop praying and counseling at the abortion clinics of our country. And that’s not going to happen.”
Breen told Fox Tuesday that his client in no way violated the FACE Act.
“He was well away from the entrance, and the FACE Act, the federal act that they charged here, is about access to the clinics. It’s not about dealing with issues down the sidewalk,” Breen said.
“This issue should have been in the municipal court, and actually was and the municipal court threw it out because Mr. Love wouldn’t show up for trial,” Breen added.
Breen told reporters after his client’s not-guilty verdict, “This matter 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.”
He continued, “This was about the First Amendment in that Mark and every sidewalk counselor in this country has an equal right to be there on that sidewalk and offer assistance and alternatives.”