November 13, 2023

Mark Houck Sues Biden DOJ over Political Arrest

Mark Houck with his wife and seven children
photo via Thomas More Society
On November 6, pro-life activist Mark Houck and his wife sued the Biden Department of Justice over Houck's shocking arrest during an FBI early-morning raid on his home last year.

After Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, the Biden administration responded by emphasizing enforcement of pro-abortion policies. This included the enforcement of the Freedom of Access to Abortion Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, with which Houck was charged.

In September of 2022, over a dozen FBI agents with guns drawn arrested Houck on FACE Act charges.

Houck is seeking $1.1 million for malicious prosecution, retaliatory prosecution, false arrest, abuse of process, and assault.

His wife, Ryan-Marie Houck, is seeking $3.25 million in damages for emotional distress to herself and the family's seven children. The complaint states that stress following Mark's arrest caused her to suffer multiple miscarriages and infertility.

The Biden DOJ charged Houck with violating the FACE Act for an altercation he had with an abortion clinic escort in 2021. While Houck was offering support as a sidewalk counselor, the escort repeatedly harassed Houck's 12-year-old son. When the escort refused to leave the child alone, Houck responded by pushing the escort away. The civil case filed against Houck immediately after the incident was thrown out of court after the escort failed to show up for court dates.

If found guilty of the FACE Act charges, Houck would have faced 11 years in prison and a fine of $350,000. A jury found him not guilty in January, and he has been able to return to his family.

“This lawsuit will send a strong message to the DOJ that the United States of America does not belong to [Attorney General] Merrick Garland or the FBI; it belongs to all Americans, despite our many disagreements on different issues,” said Shawn Carney, president of the pro-life organization 40 Days for Life, which is representing Houck. “We all believe that we should have the right to free speech and be protected from unlawful infringement by our own government.”

Earlier this year, Houck also announced that he is running for Congress in Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District.