Pro-Life Dad Acquitted, Federal Jury Rejects Gov't 'Intimidation Against Pro-Life People'
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Pro-life dad Mark Houck, who was arrested in a terrifying FBI home raid, has been acquitted in federal court. After the verdict was announced, Houck embraced his wife while roughly two dozen supporters in the courtroom wept tears of relief.
Houck and his family later prayed outside of the Philadelphia federal courthouse. "I thank you, Lord. When two or more are gathered in your name, you are there in our midst. Your spirit is here," he prayed.
Houck's defense team won their victory at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in the case of United States of America v. Mark Houck.
"We are, of course, thrilled with the outcome," stated Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Executive Vice President & Head of Litigation. "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."
"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," Breen said.
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Mark Houck speaking outside of federal court in Philadelphia this afternoon after his incredible victory against the Biden administration’s attempt to crush free speech! #WeWillNotBeSilenced @LifeNewsHQ @LiveAction @sbaprolife @mercedesschlapp @demsforlife pic.twitter.com/0rDTEgEqVG— Rev. Patrick Mahoney (@revmahoney) January 30, 2023
Houck was on trial for allegedly violating the Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances Act (FACE Act) after he shoved a pro-abortion volunteer escort who was harassing his young son outside an abortion clinic in Philadelphia. The defense argued the law does not apply in this case and that Houck was protecting his son from verbal abuse.
The FACE Act prohibits “violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services.” Houck's attorneys had argued he did nothing to interfere with anyone's access to the abortion clinic where the incident occurred.
He was facing up to 11 years in prison and a $350,000 fine if the jury had sided with the Biden administration.
Prior to the raid on Houck's home, 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 avert any danger that could have accompanied a public arrest. Those emails, according to Houck’s attorneys, were unanswered — until more than a dozen heavily armed federal agents showed up at his home early one Friday morning to arrest him.
With the trial now over, Houck says he'll return to sidewalk counseling once again. "Sign me up, I'm ready to go back out. Pray, put me down for 10 o'clock, pray, I'll be wherever you need me. Just happy to continue the mission, the mission goes on."
Houck's attorneys also say he's ready to come to Congress and testify about the ordeal he and his family faced at the hands of the Justice Department and he hopes to get an invitation.
BACKGROUND: Houck Trial Becomes 'Biggest Criminal Case' for Pro-Life Movement
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