Catholic pro-life activist Mark Houck was found not guilty Monday of federal charges alleging he violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
A Pennsylvania federal grand jury indicted Houck for allegations that he assaulted an abortion clinic volunteer, Bruce Love, in Philadelphia in September 2022. Federal officials claimed that Houck violated the FACE Act by using “force with the intent to injure, intimidate, and interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care.”
Following a jury deadlock that delayed its decision, Houck was acquitted of both charges of violations of the FACE Act.
“This is a win not just for the pro-life movement and Mark but for free speech and every single American,” 40 Days for Life’s general counsel, Matt Britton, said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller. “The federal government trumped up charges months after a local case had been dismissed. If the feds had prevailed, every argument in front of every abortion facility, no matter the subject, could result in federal charges.”
“The feds tried to make a point that they would not tolerate pro-life speech and tried to make Mark an example that they would charge and intimidate pro-lifers, all while claiming that they represent democracy and free speech. But not today. The system worked, and justice prevailed.”
At least 15 agents stormed Houck’s home while pointing their weapons at the 48-year-old, his wife and seven children in October, according to his wife. His children allegedly begged the agents not to arrest their father as the FBI surrounded the house in the early morning hours.
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