(CNSNews.com) -- Mark Houck, a pro-life father who was charged with violating federal law outside an abortion clinic by pushing a pro-abortion activist away from his young son, was found not guilty by a jury on Tuesday. In reaction, conservatives cheered the decision on social media and denounced the Biden Justice Department for targeting “pro-life activists.”
House Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) told Fox News and then subsequently through a tweet, “Justice has been served, but this brazen exercise in intimidation never should have happened. Mark Houck and his eight children never should have been forced to live through an FBI raid or see their father led away in handcuffs.”
“Justice has been served, but this brazen exercise in intimidation never should have happened. Mark Houck and his eight children never should have been forced to live through an FBI raid or see their father led away in handcuffs," - Rep. Chip Royhttps://t.co/nOqoYjzqXx— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) January 31, 2023
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tweeted, “Mark Houck never should have been prosecuted, let alone treated like a terrorist in an early-morning FBI raid with a SWAT team. Merrick Garland should be ashamed for using DOJ as a political weapon to target pro-life activists.”
Mark Houck never should have been prosecuted, let alone treated like a terrorist in an early-morning FBI raid with a SWAT team.— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) January 30, 2023
Merrick Garland should be ashamed for using DOJ as a political weapon to target pro-life activists.
Mark Houck was arrested in September 2022 in a dawn raid by the FBI for an incident that happened on Oct. 13, 2021. Houck and his 12-year-old son were protesting outside a Pennsylvania abortion clinic for pro-life rights when a clinic escort, Bruce Love, approached them from over 100 feet away.
Love began shouting vulgar obscenities at Houck’s son. Love reportedly said things such as, “your dad is a bad person,” and “your dad is hurting women.” As Love was yelling, he apparently entered the personal space of the 12-year-old boy, and that is when Houck decided to protect his child by shoving Love.
After the incident, Houck’s home was raided by an FBI tactical team where he was arrested at gunpoint in front of his family. The DOJ charged Houck with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
The FACE Act states that it is prohibited to keep people from entering abortion clinics, “by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, intentionally injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person because that person is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from, obtaining or providing reproductive health services.”
Houck was facing up to 11 years in federal prison for shoving Love. The DOJ’s case has been highly scrutinized, with even U.S. District Judge Gerald Pappert asking a federal prosecutor if it “seemed to be stretched a little thin” when making a case for Houck breaking the FACE Act.
Conservatives and pro-life activists have begun voicing their opinions on the verdict, and while praising the decision of the court, they have not let the DOJ’s actions slip under the radar.
What happened to Mark Houck is vile--arrested in front of his children because he advocates passionately for life. We need answers from FBI leadership about who decided to prosecute an innocent man. https://t.co/XnxVvQv0Kt— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) January 31, 2023
Mark Houck is a prolife father of seven whom the FBI treated like he was John Dillinger when they went to arrest him. https://t.co/rkUAPfHSdf— Bill McGurn (@wjmcgurn) January 31, 2023
Joe Biden's DOJ sent 30 FBI agents to arrest Catholic pro-life activist Mark Houck in front of his family because he pushed a Planned Parenthood volunteer threatening his son and they couldn't even get a guilty verdict out of it. This was nothing but pure political persecution.— Michael Seifert (@realmichaelseif) January 30, 2023
I’m thrilled with the #MarkHouck verdict. Biden DOJ tried to use the FACE Act, which prohibits interference in reproductive care facilities, to put a decent family man away for 11 years. For what? Pushing an abortion activist who screamed in his son’s face. Jury wouldn’t have it!— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) January 30, 2023
President Biden brought the full force of his woke and weaponized federal police, via the DOJ, to arrest & intimidate a pro-life activist and father of 7, Mark Houck.— William Wolfe 🇺🇸 (@William_E_Wolfe) January 31, 2023
Yesterday, Houck was acquitted by a federal jury.
There must be consequences for this horrible abuse of power.