For Immediate Release: January 31, 2022
Contact: Ryan Hite, Communications Director
Victory for Mark Houck Should Be Followed by Sharp Rebukes of Federal Intimidation
Washington, D.C.: “A Pennsylvania jury acquitted pro-life worker, husband, and father of 6 Mark Houck yesterday of all charges brought against him by the Biden Department of Justice,” said Ed Martin, president of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles. “This is a big win against Biden’s weaponized use of the Department of Justice. The DOJ has been on a tear against conservative pro-life groups, individuals, and even churches since the early leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision last spring. The smackdown against this flimsy federal case should serve as a warning.”
The jury on Monday only took about an hour to find Houck not guilty of the ridiculous charge of violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. Camera footage of the block clearly shows Mr. Houck and his son are not anywhere near the entrance of this Philadelphia clinic. Instead, they were approached by a hostile Planned Parenthood escort and that individual instigated the altercation down the block.
Martin continued, “The blatant reality is that this was a civil dispute that should have been, and actually was settled in municipal court. The municipal court dismissed the case when the escort refused to show. The Department of Justice then decided to step in and not let this opportunity to scare pro-lifers go to waste. These charges should never have been brought in the first place. It just further proves, alongside the grotesque display of force used in arresting Houck, that the government’s main aim here is not to enforce the law but to scare their political opponents.
“This great jury victory over abusive federal bureaucracies is good, but it’s time to take it further. I agree with Congressman Chip Roy and others who are calling for Congress to repeal the FACE act and remove this pathway to blatant intimidation. Congress must use their oversight powers to beat back this clearly weaponized use of federal law enforcement. The House has defunded an expanded IRS and it’s time to turn their oversight gaze on the Department of Justice.”