Pro-life activist arrested during FBI raid at Pennsylvania home

A pro-life activist was arrested at his home Friday during an FBI raid on charges that he assaulted an abortion clinic volunteer in Philadelphia last year.

More than two dozen FBI agents came to arrest Mark Houck shortly after 7 a.m., according to Mr. Houck’s wife Ryan-Marie, who spoke with pro-life news outlet LifeSiteNews.

She told the site that agents surrounded the house with rifles in firing position and aimed rifles at Mr. Houck and herself after being let into the home.

Mrs. Houck, who shares seven children with her husband, said that the children had been woken up by the commotion.

“Our staircase is open, so [the kids] were all at the top of the stairs which faces the front door, and I was on the stairs as well, coming down,” Mrs. Houck told LifeSite. “The kids were all just screaming. It was all just very scary and traumatic.”

Mr. Houck was indicted by the federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for two counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act for “attack of a patient escort,” according to a photo of the warrant obtained by LifeSite.

The FACE Act makes it a federal crime to use force, intimidate or interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care.

Federal prosecutors said the charges stem from two separate incidents on Oct. 13, 2021, in which Mr. Houck is accused of assaulting a 72-year-old man who was a volunteer escort at the Planned Parenthood Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center in Philadelphia.

In the first incident, Mr. Houck allegedly shoved the victim to the ground. In the second incident, Mr. Houck verbally confronted the victim before allegedly shoving him to the ground again, causing the victim to require medical attention.

Mrs. Houck gave a different version of events to LifeSite. Mr. Houck would take his 12-year-old son with him to counsel on the sidewalk, according to his wife. She said that for “weeks and weeks” a “pro-abortion protester” would speak to the boy saying “crude … inappropriate and disgusting things.”

Mr. Houck would tell the man off, according to his wife, but “he kept doing it and kind of came into [the son’s] personal space” while obscenely ridiculing his father. Eventually, she said Mr. Houck shoved the man and he fell back.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Mr. Houck faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000 if convicted.

Mr. Houck is the founder of The King’s Men, a group that helps people with pornography addiction. Before he started The King’s Men, he was a pro-life activist with Generation Life.

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