Pro-life activist Mark Houck is suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for malicious and retaliatory prosecution, abuse of process, false arrest, and assault after the agencies conducted an early morning raid on his home.
Houck, a Catholic father of seven, is being represented by the law firm Graves Garrett, and has also partnered with 40 Days for Life.
The lawsuit stems from an incident on September 23, 2022, when two dozen heavily armed FBI SWAT members showed up – guns pointed – at 7 AM at the Houck family’s front door to arrest Mark.
“They said they were going to break in if he didn’t open it,” Houck’s wife later said, “And then they had about five guns pointed at my husband, myself, and basically at my kids.”
“They were pointing their weapons. They came in as if they were expecting confrontation,” she added.
Mark Houck’s alleged crime? Protecting his 12-year-old son outside an abortion clinic from an abortion “escort” who was harassing and yelling profanities at them.
Mark defended his son by pushing away the escort, who fell, but was unhurt. That incident had occurred nearly one year prior in October 2021, when the Houcks were there to pray for women considering abortion.
As the Daily Citizen previously reported, “The escort later asked the police and the local district attorney to arrest and punish Mark. They both declined. A Philadelphia municipal court also dismissed a lawsuit the escort had filed against Mark.”
That brings us back to the FBI and DOJ’s early morning raid on the Houck residence.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, the Biden administration decided to use an all-of-government approach and weaponize our nation’s top law enforcement agencies to support abortion and intimidate and punish pro-life supporters.
In a statement on the same day as the high court’s ruling, Attorney General Merrick Garland said the DOJ “strongly disagree[d] with the Court’s decision,” and announced,
The Justice Department will work tirelessly to protect and advance reproductive freedom…
The Justice Department will use every tool at our disposal to advance reproductive freedom. And we will not waver from this Departments’ founding responsibility to protect the civil rights of all Americans.
Attorney General Garland said the department would use the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) to “protect healthcare providers and individuals seeking reproductive health services.”
The FACE Act was passed in 1994 to prohibit the threat of or use of force against anyone for “obtaining or providing reproductive health services.” Violators face up to 11 years in prison and up to a $350,000 fine.
But the DOJ and FBI didn’t use the FACE Act to go after violent abortion protesters, they used it to go after peaceful pro-life supporters who simply pray at abortion clinics – pro-lifers like Mark Houck.
In January 2023, Houck was acquitted of all charges by a Philadelphia jury. Now, he’s turning the tables on the FBI and DOJ.
As CNA reports, the lawsuit alleges that the FBI’s arrest and the DOJ’s prosecution of Mark was “malicious” and that it,
Intended to accomplish an illicit corrupt purpose not in the interest of justice and in violation of Mr. Houck’s clearly established First Amendment rights and his rights under the common law to be free of malicious and retaliatory prosecution.
“Government agents opted for excessive and overwhelming force that resulted in unnecessary danger and fear,” the lawsuit states.
“Most tragically, Mr. Houck and his wife have lost three babies from miscarriages due to the stress of the FBI’s conduct and resulting prosecution. … [The stress from the arrest has been] so severe that the Houcks have been diagnosed with infertility.”
Please pray for the Houcks as they sue the federal government and continue to deal with the ramifications of the FBI and DOJ’s hostile and belligerent actions.
If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and want to learn more about your options, visit My Choice Network.
Focus on the Family has been working to turn the cultural tide and save mothers and babies from abortion for years. Since beginning the Option Ultrasound Program in 2004, Focus has helped save nearly half a million lives.
Our goal is to save one million babies by 2025. Just $60 will save a life through Option Ultrasound. Will you partner with us to save a life from abortion here?
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