Catholic Father Says His FBI Arrest Was Meant To ‘Instill Fear’ In Pro-Life Movement


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Kate Anderson Contributor
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A pro-life father detailed his experience of being targeted by the FBI for his beliefs about abortion during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, saying that his arrest was intended to “instill fear’ in the pro-life movement.

Mark Houck testified during the committee hearing on Tuesday about the FBI’s use of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), which “prohibits threats of force, obstruction and property damage intended to interfere with reproductive health care services,” during his arrest and subsequent trial in 2022. Houck said in response to a question from Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio that his arrest was designed to “instill fear” into the pro-life movement. (RELATED: Majority Of Women Say More Emotional, Financial Support Would Have Stopped Them From Having An Abortion: POLL)

“You volunteered to turn yourself in,” Jordan said. “And yet they show up at your house, 20 agents, guns drawn in front of your family, in front of your kids. Why do you think they did it?”

Houck replied that he had been “thinking about that for many months,” and said that the FBI was trying to “humiliate me and scare my children and instill fear in pro-life America.”

.@Jim_Jordan on DOJ targeting of Mark Houck: “You’re a pro-life, pro-family Catholic, for goodness sake. You got 7 kids. You’re not allowed to have 7 kids today…You were the example. That is how pervasive this political attitude is at the highest levels of our agencies.” pic.twitter.com/TUkfw6RzEL

Houck was arrested in October 2022 during an FBI early morning raid at his house after an abortion clinic volunteer accused the Catholic father of assaulting him during a protest. Local authorities declined to prosecute Houck but not long after federal authorities stepped in and charged him with violating the FACE Act. Houck was eventually acquitted of all charges by a jury in January.

Jordan accused the FBI of targeting Catholics specifically, citing a memorandum leaked by a whistleblower earlier this year that warned agents to be aware of “radical traditional Catholics.”

“So if you are pro-family, pro-life and you want a border, you’re a target and your family fits all of that,” Jordan said to Houck. “You’re a pro-life, pro-family Catholic, for goodness sake… you were the example, and that is how pervasive this political attitude is at the highest levels of our agencies.”

Houck agreed with Jordan, saying that his family was “targeted” for their Catholic and pro-life beliefs, and said that his children were “traumatized” after the raid.

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