Attorney: We warned DOJ not to prosecute pro-life activist

Attorney: We warned DOJ not to prosecute pro-life activist

Attorney: We warned DOJ not to prosecute pro-life activist

A pro-life activist and Catholic leader, facing federal prison for pushing an abortion clinic volunteer, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Now his attorneys are accusing the Department of Justice of politicizing a federal law, and conducting an over-the-top FBI raid against their client, to bully and intimidate the pro-life movement.

With attorneys from the Thomas More Society by his side, Mark Houck appeared Tuesday afternoon in a Philadelphia federal court to hear the federal government accuse him of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances law, or the FACE Act.

Houck is accused of pushing the abortion supporter, Bruce Love, twice outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in October of 2021, now nearly a year ago. The pro-life activist has never denied the incident but claims Love had repeatedly been speaking crudely to his 12-year-old son, and the dad pushed him back. Love, who is 72, reportedly fell. 

It appears from news stories no police arrest was made after that altercation, and a civil lawsuit filed by Love was eventually dropped by a court after he failed to appear. But then came a controversial FBI raid at Houck’s rural home over the weekend after he was indicted by a federal grand jury.

Thomas More won similar case in 2019

Among the Thomas More attorneys at Tuesday’s court appearance was senior counsel Peter Breen. The attorney told reporters he was aware the U.S. Attorney’s Office was interested in charging Houck with a federal crime because Thomas More had advised those federal prosecutors in June that their FACE Act charges would not hold up in court.

Houck, Mark (Pro-life activist) Houck

That’s because Thomas More won a similar federal case in 2019 that involved an abortion clinic in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The court ruled pro-life protester Mark Bogunovich never blocked the clinic entrance, which would have violated the FACE Act as the federal prosecutors had claimed.

Houck could have also appeared voluntarily in court to face the charges, Breen said, which the federal prosecutors were also told, but instead the FBI conducted a SWAT-like raid to arrest him.

Considering all of that, Breen said, Thomas More believes its client is the victim of a “political prosecution” that will ultimately fail in a front of another federal judge.

The early-morning raid by the FBI has generated public anger at the U.S. Department of Justice, which was already viewed by many political conservatives as a corrupt, KGB-like arm of the Biden administration.

Breen, Peter (Thomas More Society) Breen

“When law enforcement is corrupted by bad apples, we have to demand reform,” Gary Bauer, a longtime conservative activist, tells AFN. “We know this from the FBI whistleblowers, who are coming forward and saying something is rotten inside the FBI.”

“We need to have equal application of the law,” Doug Mastriano, the GOP candidate for Pennsylvania governor, complained to the Todd Starnes show. “We need proportionality and what we’re seeing is not.”

Instead, the America public is witnessing an “assault on our freedoms,” he said, and it needs to end.