Pro-life activist, who faced prison, acquitted by federal jury

Pro-life activist, who faced prison, acquitted by federal jury

Pro-life activist, who faced prison, acquitted by federal jury

A pro-life activist who stood trial for violating a federal abortion clinic law has been found not guilty.

A federal grand jury, seated in Pennsylvania, acquitted defendant Mark Houck on two charges related to the FACE Act and a shoving incident outside an abortion clinic in September 2022.

His acquittal was first reported by The Daily Caller.

Houck, a Catholic leader and father of seven, was facing prison if found guilty.

Houck, Mark (Pro-life activist) Houck

Pete Breen, an attorney for the Thomas More Society, said in a statement the jury “saw through and rejected” the U.S. Department of Justice's political prosecution of his client. 

“This is a win for Mark and the entire pro-life movement,” Breen said. “The Biden Department of Justice's intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.”

Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com says the case should never have gone to trial. "This was an absolutely bogus prosecution by the Biden administration to try to put a pro-life father in prison," he says. "Fortunately, the jury found him not guilty on both counts."

The court's decision, he continues, hands the Biden administration "a big loss" and "really sends a big message to them that they need to stop prosecuting and stop persecuting pro-life Americans."

AFN previously reported Breen and Thomas More learned in June of last year the abortion-defending Department of Justice was investigating the shoving incident and planned to prosecute the pro-life activist. Thomas More assured federal prosecutors in an email they would lose in court, and never received a reply, but then a team of well-armed FBI agents swarmed Houck’s home three months later to arrest him.

Philadelphia police investigated the shoving incident but never arrested Houck, who told police he pushed a clinic escort who was cursing at his 12-year-old son. The clinic escort, Bruce Love, later filed a lawsuit that was tossed out when he failed to show.