Pro-Life Father Acquitted in Trial Over Abortion Clinic Confrontation

Thomas More Society

Mark Houck, 48, was acquitted yesterday in a high-profile prosecution by the Biden Administration under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.  Houck was accused of pushing a Planned Parenthood escort during a clash outside an abortion clinic. It is a rare victory for Houck and the Thomas More Society (which represented Houck) under the act. Houck insisted that he was trying to protect his twelve-year-old son in the encounters with Love. There is also an interesting wrinkle in the jury deliberations.

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.”

The Biden Administration alleged that Houck “forcefully shoved” Bruce Love, a 72-year-old volunteer at a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood on Oct. 13, 2021. The trial explored two different encounters with Love.

In the first encounter, Houck was across the street on a sidewalk counseling two women who had left the Planned Parenthood clinic. Love followed the women. The Justice Department says that Houck elbowed Love because he was a clinic escort. Houck testified that Love startled him and made contact with him, causing him to say “What are you doing?” and hip-check him out of reflex.

Houck testified that he told Love to “Stay away from my son” and “Don’t come near us” when Love approached them on the sidewalk after the first incident.

His son, Houck Jr. also testified and said that Love stood close to him as he taunted his father saying “You’re hurting women. You don’t care about women.” He then said Love said the same to him and added “Your dad’s a bad person. Your dad’s harassing women.” He said that he moved away from Love out of fear.

It was a highly contested account, but the Biden Administration decided to prosecute and later went to Houck’s home to arrest him. The arrest drew criticism after a large number of FBI agents descended on the home.

What was interesting is that the jury previously declared itself deadlocked and was sent home on Friday. However, a juror was then reportedly replaced by an alternate juror on Monday afternoon. They then quickly reached an acquittal. It is not clear if the deadlock was due to that one juror, but a consensus that formed during that day.

It is not uncommon for jurors to overcome a deadlock, particularly after an Allen charge. Named after the United States Supreme Court case Allen v. United States (1896) where it was first used, it is called the “dynamite charge” to break deadlocks. It is unpopular with most defense attorneys because it encourages the majority to work to convince the minority — often breaking down the resistance of holdouts.

It is not clear if the jury simply overcame its divisions after a weekend break or whether the replaced juror was a holdout.

The acquittal in a FACE Act case is relatively rare given the “cut-and-dry” language of the law.

We recently discussed an English case that showed its own efforts against pro-life protesters when a woman was arrested for praying near a clinic.



76 thoughts on “Pro-Life Father Acquitted in Trial Over Abortion Clinic Confrontation”

  1. The administrations motives are made starkly clear by the FBI-STASI tactics used against a normal harmless family just because they want to show how strong they are and how i significant you are. IMO, that alone is enough for me to dig my heels into a not guilty verdict right there. It is an “Us vs Them” trial, “Them” being a menacing government.

  2. We have entered a truly dangerous time in our country, when the government is trying as hard as it can to stifle some speech, to advance dangerously radical ideas favored by the elites. To do this, they have to junk most of the Constitution, and they must take away rights Americans have always enjoyed, such as freedom of speech. I am speechless that some Americans are trying so hard to insure that their fellow citizens may not be heard, may not speak, etc. All on the fake idea that some speech “harms” others. This is the dirtiest, most evil thing I have ever seen happen in America. Biden’s Justice Department has a list of political enemies, and they attempt to put them in jail.

    NOTE: The Republican Candidate for governor last time around, Dr. Scott Jensen, has just been charged by the Democratic MN Attorney General with having spread covid misinformation. This is yet another example of Democrats seeking to punish their political enemies for speaking out. This is evil beyond measure. Make no mistake, they are trying to completely destroy our form of government, and stifle all opposition.

    1. What a wonderful opportunity.

      “Crazy Abe,” would you please cite the Constitution wherein even a scintilla of support for your absurd denial of secession (the very right the Founders availed themselves of against Great Britain) and your equally illegal war of uncommon offense, as invasion of a sovereign foreign nation, enjoys a locus?

      It would be a momentous revelation for America to grasp that everything you did from the outset was illicit, unconstitutional and invalid, remaining illegitimate to this day, with emphasis on your failure to enforce the extant immigration law, the Naturalization Act of 1802, which was in full force and effect when you unconstitutionally confiscated inordinately large amounts of private property on January 1, 1863.

      Oh, and say hello to your BFF, Karl, will you?

      1. Sorry George, In Texas v White (1869) the Supreme Court held that States have no constitutional right to secede. It’s time to move on and accept reality.

        1. Sorta like this famous King George III Proclamation decreeing that the American colonies had no right to secede. Maybe a conflict of interest for SCOTUS, too?

          By the KING,
          For suppressing Rebellion and Sedition.
          GEORGE R.
          WHEREAS many of Our Subjects in divers Parts of Our Colonies and Plantations in
          North America, misled by dangerous and ill-designing Men, and forgetting the
          Allegiance which they owe to the Power that has protected and sustained them,
          after various disorderly Acts committed in Disturbance of the Publick Peace, to the Obstruction
          of lawful Commerce, and to the Oppression of Our loyal Subjects carrying on the same, have at
          length proceeded to an open and avowed Rebellion, by arraying themselves in hostile Manner to
          withstand the Execution of the Law, and traitorously preparing, ordering, and levying War
          against Us ; And whereas there is Reason to apprehend that such Rebellion hath been much
          promoted and encouraged by the traitorous Correspondence, Counsels, and Comfort of divers
          wicked and desperate Persons within this Realm : To the End therefore that none of Our
          Subjects may neglect or violate their Duty through Ignorance thereof, or through any Doubt of
          the Protection which the Law will afford to their Loyalty and Zeal ; We have thought fit, by
          and with the Advice of Our Privy Council, to issue this Our Royal Proclamation, hereby declaring
          that not only all Our Officers Civil and Military are obliged to exert their utmost Endeavours to
          suppress such Rebellion, and to bring the Traitors to Justice ; but that all Our Subjects of this
          Realm and the Dominions thereunto belonging are bound by Law to be aiding and assisting in
          the Suppression of such Rebellion, and to disclose and make known all traitorous Conspiracies and
          Attempts against Us, Our Crown and Dignity ; And We do accordingly strictly charge and
          command all Our Officers as well Civil as Military, and all other Our obedient and loyal Subjects,
          to use their utmost Endeavours to withstand and suppress such Rebellion, and to disclose and
          make known all Treasons and traitorous Conspiracies which they shall know to be against Us,
          Our Crown and Dignity ; and for that Purpose, that they transmit to One of Our Principal
          Secretaries of State, or other proper Officer, due and full Information of all Persons who shall be
          found carrying on Correspondence with, or in any Manner or Degree aiding or abetting the
          Persons now in open Arms and Rebellion against Our Government within any of Our Colonies
          and Plantations in North America, in order to bring the condign Punishment the Authors,
          Perpetrators and Abettors of such traitorous Designs.

          Given at Our Court at St. James’s, the Twenty-third Day of August, One thousand
          seven hundred and seventy-five, in the Fifteenth Year of Our Reign.

          God save the SCOTUS … er … King.

          1. Also, here is what Scalia said in a letter (in part) on secession: “If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede. (Hence, in the Pledge of Allegiance, “one Nation, indivisable.”)”.

  3. All thanks be to God!!! I was praying for His intervention, according to His perfect will, and am so glad Mr. Houck is freed!! God bless, C-Marie

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