A jury has reportedly acquitted a Pennsylvania pro-life activist who was accused of allegedly pushing a Planned Parenthood escort during a clash outside an abortion clinic, Life News reported.
Mark Houck, 48, faced charges that he violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate and interfere with anyone because that person produces reproductive health care. He pleaded not guilty.
The charge stems from an October 13, 2021, incident in which the Biden Administration alleged that Houck assaulted and “forcefully shoved” Bruce Love, a 72-year-old volunteer at a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood.
Houck was arrested in his home by multiple FBI agents in September 2022.
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, celebrated the news of Houck’s acquittal with a tweet.
“Good. Begs questions the $48 billion we give to DOJ…,” he wrote.
Shortly after Houck’s fall arrest, his attorney Peter Breen told Fox News Digital that his client’s arrest was an “outrageous abuse of power” from the Department of Justice that was intended to intimidate pro-life Americans.
“The message from the Biden Department of Justice is pure intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith,” said Breen, senior counsel of the Thomas More Society. “Why in the world would you send this phalanx of officers heavily armed to this family’s home, violate the sanctity of their home, frighten their children? Why would you do that other than to send a message?
Bill Devlin, a pastor who has ministered with Houck for more than 20 years, told The Christian Post last year that it appeared federal prosecutors were “stretching the statute of the FACE Act.”
“We are deep brothers in the faith, and I’ve come alongside to undergird and support him because it’s the presumption of innocent until the government can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mark Houck violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act,” Devlin told the outlet.