“We really wanted to start with viewpoint discrimination and religious discrimination because it’s clear that the Biden administration is targeting pro-life people and people of faith, and is doing nothing in hundreds of incidents of violence against pregnancy centers and churches,” Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen told CNA Thursday.
“Instead, you’ve got the U.S. government coming after Mark Houck, even though he went through the local court system, and the case was dismissed against him,” Breen said.
Houck was arrested in September by agents outside his home in Kintnersville in Bucks County while his wife and children looked on. He was charged under the FACE Act the same day, after a federal indictment alleged that he assaulted a Planned Parenthood clinic escort in October 2021. A local case against him was dismissed because the plaintiff never showed up at court, a former spokesman for Houck told CNA.
Breen contends that Houck was just defending his son, who was being harassed by a clinic escort. Breen told CNA that witness testimony and video evidence supports his claim. Neither as of yet is available to the public, he said.
If convicted under the FACE Act, Houck could face up to 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $350,000.
The FACE Act “prohibits violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services,” according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
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