Mark Houck, an activist, beat up a Planned Parenthood clinic attendant last year. The well-known anti-abortion author and counselor were arrested in front of his children on Friday, Sept. 23, after the Justice Department ordered a SWAT raid on his home in rural Pennsylvania.
Mark Houck, an anti-abortion activist in Pennsylvania, has reportedly been charged by the federal government for twice shoving a 72-year-old clinic guard.
Pro-life Activist Arrested By FBI, Charged With Assaulting Clinic Escort
He is alleged to have violated the Free Access to Clinics Act (FACE), which was passed 30 years ago. That law states that it is against the law to use force to injure, frighten, or discourage someone from seeking reproductive health services.
A Catholic abortion opponent was arrested Friday at his home in rural Pennsylvania and charged with assaulting a security guard at a Planned Parenthood clinic last year.
Mark Houck, 48, of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, is co-founder and president of The King’s Men, a Catholic ministry that helps young Catholic men grow spiritually.
Ryan-Marie, Houck’s wife, told Catholic News Agency that “about 25 SWAT team members came to my house in about 15 vehicles and started knocking on our door.”
“They told him they were going to break in if he didn’t open the door. Then they pointed about five guns at my husband, me, and especially my children,” she said.
A representative from the FBI’s Philadelphia office denied the SWAT team’s claim, telling Fox News Digital, “People are saying things about the arrest of Mark Houck that are not true.
There were no SWAT team members or SWAT operators involved. FBI agents went to Mr. Houck’s house, knocked on the front door, told him they were FBI agents, and asked him to leave. He did so and was arrested without any problems because he was on trial.”
A senior FBI source that between 15 and 20 agents may have been at the scene, but not 25. This FBI source says the agents who came to the door had their guns are drawn and ready, but they were never pointed at Houck or his family. Once Houck was taken into custody, the weapons were put away or lowered.
A senior federal official familiar with the situation said Houck was handcuffed with a belly chain. In this method, the suspect’s handcuffs are attached to a chain around the abdomen so the person does not have to sit in a car with his hands cuffed behind his back.
A senior source in the Federal Bureau of Investigation denied that agents had entered the home.
On Friday, U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero said Houck had been charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinics Act (FACE).
The law states that it is a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, frighten or interfere with someone providing reproductive health care.
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Prosecutors allege Houck assaulted a 72-year-old man named “B.L.” outside Planned Parenthood Elizabeth Black Health Center in Philadelphia on Oct. 13, 2021.
According to a Justice Department press release, B.L. was attempting to help two patients leave the clinic “when the defendant forcefully pushed B.L. to the ground.”
In a second incident, Houck is accused of “verbally” confronting B.L. and pushing him to the ground outside the Planned Parenthood center, resulting in injuries that required medical attention.
“Assault is always a serious crime, and the FACE Act makes it a federal crime when the victim is targeted for going to a reproductive health care clinic,” Romero said. “Our office and the Department of Justice are committed to prosecuting crimes that threaten the safety and rights of all people.
“Simply put, violence is never the answer,” said Jacqueline Maguire, agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia office. “Assaulting someone in violation of the FACE Act is a serious crime, and the FBI will work to find those responsible.”
Houck’s wife told the website LifeSiteNews that he drove two hours south every Wednesday to speak outside abortion clinics for six to eight hours at a time and that he sometimes brought his 12-year-old son with him.
She said her husband pushed a man who got too close to their son and said rude things about Houck. She told the station