February 10, 2023

Court Rules Pro-Life Group Owes Almost $1 Million to Planned Parenthood for Protests

Judge Tim Fennessy of Spokane County Superior Court ruled on Feb. 7 that a pro-life group must pay nearly $1 million to Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho.

The pro-life group, which calls itself "The Church at Planned Parenthood," was ordered by Fennessy to pay $110,000 in civil damages and $850,000 in legal fees to the abortion business. He ruled that the group "willfully or recklessly" disrupted the normal functioning of a healthcare facility by making noise that "unreasonably disturbs the peace within the facility."

The Church at Planned Parenthood met across the street from a Planned Parenthood clinic once per month. It held worship services there during the evenings after the facility closed.

“I saw firsthand that this group abides by the law,” Esther Ripplinger told CNA. Ripplinger is the executive director of Human Life of Washington, the state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee.  “They are on public property and very courteous to anyone. They meet in the evenings after hours, so there’s no disruption to the business whatsoever. I saw that firsthand. They’re extremely polite to pedestrians.”

Biden Asks Congress to Pass Pro-Abortion "Equality Act"

During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Joe Biden asked Congress to pass the Equality Act. This pro-abortion bill would end conscience protections for doctors and force taxpayers to fund abortion.

The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by defining pro-life laws and conscience protections as discrimination.

The Equality Act was considered by Congress in 2021. At the time, Jennifer Popik, director of federal legislation for the National Right to Life Committee, said, “If enacted, [the Equality Act] would open the door for widespread litigation wherein any attempt to restrict abortion, including the funding of abortion, would constitute discrimination.”

“Forcing health care providers to perform abortions in violation of their conscience rights clearly violates the Constitution,” said NRLC President Carol Tobias. “But pro-abortion forces and their allies in Congress are more concerned about expanding access to abortion.”

February 9, 2023

State of the Union: Biden Demands Legislators Codify Roe and Calls Pro-Life Laws "Extreme"

During President Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday, Biden demanded that Congress pass legislation creating a federal right to abortion. He called pro-life legislation "extreme," and promised to veto any law that would ban abortion.

A transcript published by the White House can be read here.

In his speech, Biden said,
"Congress must restore the right the Supreme Court took away last year and codify Roe v. Wade to protect every woman’s constitutional right to choose.

The Vice President and I are doing everything we can to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient privacy. But already, more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans. 

Make no mistake; if Congress passes a national abortion ban, I will veto it."
Dobbs v. Jackson overturned the precedent of Roe v. Wade last year by affirming that the Constitution does not contain a right to abortion. This allowed states to democratically pass and enforce their own laws governing abortion. By passing federal legislation, Biden and other pro-abortion activists hope to override any laws that protect unborn children from abortion.

Biden's statement that he is using his office's power to protect the abortion industry rings true. The Food and Drug Administration has loosened abortion regulations, the Department of Justice is prosecuting pro-life activists, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is using its resources to offer abortion to veterans and their dependents.

Biden's promise to veto any bill prohibiting abortion is designed moreso to feign strength than anything else. It is unlikely that the pro-abortion majority in the US Senate led by majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) would ever send the president legislation banning abortion.

Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City Hospitalizes Another Patient

Hope Clinic for Women patient being pushed to the
emergency room in a wheelchair by clinic escorts
photo from Operation Rescue
On February 4, a patient at the Hope Clinic for Women abortion facility in Granite City, Illinois was wheeled across the street to the Gateway Regional Medical Center.

Pro-life advocates on the sidewalk photographed the incident and reported it to Operation Rescue, an organization that records medical emergencies caused by abortion businesses. Operation Rescue noted that most botched abortion patients from Hope Clinic are transported to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis Missouri.

Since January of 2022, Operation Rescue has documented seven medical emergencies at Hope Clinic. Two of these emergencies occurred as recently as Nov. 8 and Nov. 9.

The clinic commits abortions up to 24 weeks gestation.

February 8, 2023

Federal Judge Says 13th Amendment May Contain "Right to Abortion"

Federal District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly wrote in a February 6 order that the Thirteenth Amendment "might contain some right to access [abortion].”

The court order concerns a federal case against 10 pro-life protestors indicted on FACE Act charges for entering a Washington DC abortion facility in October 2020. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the administration's charges based on the US Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization and its statement that "the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion."

Kollar-Kotelly's court order reads,
As a threshold matter, and without the benefit of full briefing, it appears that Defendant’s constitutional argument is predicated on the false legal premise that the predicate statute at issue in the [113] Superseding Indictment only regulates access to abortion. In fact, it regulates a broad category of “reproductive health services,” including, among other things, “counselling or referral services.” See 18 U.S.C. § 248(5). Nevertheless, to the extent that Defendants seek resolution of this matter via a constitutional holding, the Court will require additional briefing. 
The judge wrote that the US Supreme Court only ruled on whether the Fourteenth Amendment contained a right to abortion.“[I]t is entirely possible that the Court might have held in Dobbs that some other provision of the Constitution provided a right to access reproductive services had that issue been raised. However, it was not raised.”

Kollar-Kotelly suggests that such a right might be found in the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. "Of those provisions that might contain some right to access to such services, the Thirteenth Amendment has received substantial attention among scholars and, briefly, in one federal Court of Appeals decision."

Such arguments rely on the belief that pro-life laws "enslave" women by making them carry unwanted pregnancies.

The judge directed the prosecution and defense to address "whether the scope of Dobbs is confined to the Fourteenth Amendment" and "whether … any other provision of the Constitution could confer a right to abortion … such that Dobbs may or may not be the final pronouncement on the issue[.]"

February 7, 2023

Rockford Residents File Lawsuit over Zoning of "Home Business" Abortion Facility

Four residents of a Rockford, IL neighborhood, with the help of the Thomas More Society, are filing suit over the zoning of abortionist Dennis Christensen's "home business" clinic. The plaintiffs filed the suit in Winnebago County Court.

The clinic opened last month after the Rockford Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) ruled that the Thomas More Society and several residents who filed complaints had no standing to contest the facility's zoning. ZBA said that the groups did not live close enough to the facility to be affected by it. The board's ruling allows Christensen's residential building to operate as a "home business" abortion clinic under a 40-year-old special permit allowing a home medical office there.

The plaintiffs of the new lawsuit each live within 1200 feet of Christensen's clinic.

“An abortion clinic in the middle of a residential neighborhood would be a problem under any circumstances,” explained Breen, “But it is especially egregious in this situation. This abortionist has already been run out of town previously, having had his facility shut down over ten years ago by the Illinois Department of Health, because of the risks he posed to the safety and health of area women. The residents of Rockford didn’t want him practicing in their town then and they down want him selling abortions in their neighborhood now.”

Residents in the suit argue that the application of a special use permit violates several ordinances and causes harm to the community. On the day that the facility opened, a pro-abortion woman attacked peaceful protestors outside the building. She was later arrested and charged with battery.

Click here to read more.

February 6, 2023

Mark Houck to Press Charges Against FBI for "Reckless" Raid

Armed FBI agents outside Houck family home
image provided by the Thomas More Society
Pro-life advocate Mark Houck announced plans to press charges against the FBI for their "reckless" raid on his home that "terrorized" his children last September.

On Jan 31, the day after he was acquitted of the FACE Act charges pressed by the Biden administration, Houck spoke on the "War Room" podcast with Steve Bannon. Bannon asked Houck directly, “Do you intend to press charges for prosecutorial abuse? And are you going to press charges against the FBI agents and the state troopers?”

Houck responded, “We most definitely will and we will be seeking counsel on that. I think Peter Breen at Thomas More Society wants to get myself, my wife, and children in front of Congress and give them the details of what happened.”

Between 2015 and 2019, Breen served on the Illinois General Assembly. Now, Breen works as the Executive Vice President & Head of Litigation at the Thomas More Society. The Thomas More Society represented Houck against the Biden administration's charges.

For the first time since his arrest, Houck publicly described the experience of his arrest. Before 7 AM on September 23, 2022, Houck awoke to repeated banging on his front door. Houck said the authorities did not identify themselves while doing so. Houck demanded that they identify themselves before he opened the door, and they did.

“As I opened the door, I could not believe the circus scene that I saw,” he said.

There were “at least 10, 15 marked and unmarked units right in front of me. Surrounding the side of my house, I have 100 yards to the street, cars lined all the way up to the street, long guns pointed at me, heavily armored vests, ballistic helmets, ballistic shields, a battering ram,” he said.

“It was reckless that day,” Houck said. “I’m so surprised that someone wasn’t shot or I wasn’t shot.”

“[If] my kids picked up one of our airsoft guns that they play around with they easily could have been shot,” he said, adding that this was “extremely reckless behavior on the part of the federal government.”

Houck further alleges that the FBI "manipulated" him and his wife into giving them information that he didn't want to give them.

Perhaps most shockingly, Houck told Bannon that prior to his trial, the Biden administration offered him a plea deal. If Houck pled guilty, he would walk away with just "a slap on the wrist."

“I was not going to take that plea. But I just wanted your audience to know that that’s how highly the government thought of this case,” he said. “And I knew the importance of allowing this case to set precedent for the pro-life movement, to have case law on the books.”

February 3, 2023

Satanic Temple to Open "Religious" Abortion Clinic Named for Justice Alito's Mother

The Satanic Temple (TST) announced plans to open a telemedicine abortion facility in New Mexico named after the mother of pro-life Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Alito wrote the majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade last year. The name is a not-so-subtle argument that Alito's mother should have paid an abortionist to have him killed.

The facility will simply be named “The Samuel Alito’s Mom’s Satanic Abortion Clinic.”

“In 1950, Samuel Alito’s mother did not have options, and look what happened,” said Malcolm Jarry, the cofounder of TST. “Prior to 1973, doctors who performed abortions could lose their licenses and go to jail. The clinic’s name serves to remind people just how important it is to have the right to control one’s body and the potential ramifications of losing that right.”

A TST press release reads, “Patients undergo a confidential screening and virtual appointment before having their prescriptions sent to the clinic’s pharmacy partner, who will mail the medications in a discreet package.”

TST argues that the first amendment exempts them from federal and state laws regulating abortion because. The press release says that pills will be provided for an "abortion ritual" that is "an essential part of a religious practice."

Man Arrested for Peoria Planned Parenthood Arson

Tyler Massengill
photo from Peoria Police Department
32-year-old Tyler Massengill of Chillicothe, IL has been arrested for the arson attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic in Peoria, IL.

The Peoria Fire Department estimated $150,000 in damages. Planned Parenthood later said that the damage caused by the attack would cost over $1 million to repair. According to the facility's website, it is “Available by phone and telehealth only from 01/20/23 until further notice.”

Massengill confessed to breaking a window and throwing a Molotov cocktail into the Planned Parenthood clinic. He told police that he was "triggered" by memories of an abortion a past girlfriend had without his knowledge.

After his arrest on Jan. 24, he was charged with having “maliciously damaged and destroyed, and attempted to damage and destroy, by means of fire and an explosive, a building used in interstate commerce and engaged in activity affecting interstate commerce.” He appeared in court on Feb 1, when a federal judge found probable cause for him to stand trial on a federal charge equivalent to aggravated arson.

Massengill has a criminal record spanning back to the age of 13, including 26 arrests in Peoria county. He has been convicted of burglary, theft, domestic battery, aggravated assault, and trespassing. He was on probation at the time of the arson.

February 2, 2023

Students for Life to Hold Protest Against Abortion at Walgreens HQ in Deerfield, IL

Students for Life is asking pro-life advocates to join them in protesting the sale of abortion drugs at pharmacies.

The Biden administration has loosened regulations limiting the distribution of abortion pills. New FDA rules allow pharmacies to sell these deadly drugs. Abortion pills end the lives of innocent unborn children, and they pose an increased risk to mothers who have not first seen a doctor who can accurately date pregnancies and diagnose ectopic pregnancies.

After the FDA announced the rule change, major pharmacy chains including Walgreens, CVS, and Rite-Aid announced plans to sell abortion drugs.

Students for Life will hold a "Cancel Abortion Cartels" protest at the Walgreens HQ on Valentine's Day, February 14th at noon. Pro-life advocates will demand that Walgreens opt out of selling abortion pills.

What: Students for Life of America's "Cancel Abortion Cartels" protest

Where: Walgreens National Headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois

Date: Tuesday, February 14th 

Time: 12PM CT 

Reason: To demand that Walgreens opts out of selling chemical abortion drugs.

You can sign up to join the protest here.

State Attorneys General Warn CVS and Walgreens Against Mailing Abortion Pills

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey
20 state attorneys general, led by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, sent letters to pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens warning them against using the mail to distribute abortion pills. The letters inform these companies that the practice is unsafe and illegal.

“As Attorney General, it is my responsibility to enforce the laws as written, and that includes enforcing the very laws that protect Missouri’s women and unborn children,” said Attorney General Bailey. “My Office is doing everything in its power to inform these companies of the law, with the promise that we will use every tool at our disposal to uphold the law if broken.”

CVS and Walgreens announced plans to distribute abortion pills, including by mail, after the Biden FDA loosened regulations on the deadly drugs.

The letters reference the Comstock Act, which prohibits the mail distribution of abortion pills. The Biden administration recently wrote a memo arguing that the law does not apply "where the sender lacks the intent that the recipient of the drugs will use them unlawfully." The memo does not require federal judges to rule one way or another, and it inaccurately portrays the law.

The letters read,
“Federal law expressly prohibits using the mail to send or receive any drug that will ‘be used or applied for producing abortion’… the text could not be clearer: ‘every article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion … shall not be conveyed in the mails.’ And anyone who ‘knowingly takes any such thing from the mails for the purpose of circulating’ is guilty of a federal crime.”

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey authored the letter. He was joined by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

Click here to read more.

February 1, 2023

Biden Administration Announces Proposal to End Obamacare's Moral Objections to Contraceptives

The Biden administration announced a proposal Monday that would end employers' ability to object to Obamacare's contraceptive coverage mandate on moral grounds. Religious exemptions would remain intact, but employees of businesses who use these exemptions will have a new way to obtain federally-funded contraception with no out-of-pocket costs.

Students at universities with religious objections would also be able to use this method of obtaining contraception.

It should be noted that "emergency" contraception drugs such as Plan B are used to end the lives of unborn children after fertilization occurs. These drugs can prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the mother's womb, causing abortions.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimated that the removal of moral objections would impact over 100 employers and over 125,000 employees.

The proposed change could take effect after a 60-day comment period beginning Feb 2. On that day, the Biden administration will file the proposal in the Federal Register.

Click here to read more.

January 31, 2023

Mark Houck Acquitted of Biden DOJ's FACE Act Charges

Mark Houck with his wife and seven children
image provided by the Thomas More Society
At 3:00 pm on Monday, January 30, pro-life sidewalk counselor Mark Houck was found not guilty on both FACE Act charges levied by the Biden administration.

Federal agents arrested Houck at his Pennsylvania home in September of 2022. The charges stem from an altercation between Houck and a Planned Parenthood patient escort in 2021.

While Houck was offering support as a sidewalk counselor, the escort repeatedly harassed Houck's 12-year-old son. Houck retaliated by pushing the escort away. A civil case filed against Houck was thrown out of court after the escort failed to show up for court dates.

If Houck was found guilty of the federal charges pressed by the Biden administration, he would have faced 11 years in prison and a fine of $350,000. Houck was represented in court by the Thomas More Society.

“We are, of course, thrilled with the outcome,” Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Executive Vice President & Head of Litigation, said in a statement. “Mark and his family are now free of the cloud that the Biden administration threw upon them. We took on Goliath – the full might of the United States government – and won. The jury saw through and rejected the prosecution’s discriminatory case, which was harassment from day one. This is a win for Mark and the entire pro-life movement. The Biden Department of Justice’s intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.”

January 30, 2023

Minnesota Passes Bill Legalizing Abortion Until Birth with No Restrictions

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D)
On Jan 28, the Minnesota state senate passed the Protective Reproductive Options (PRO) Act. This would codify a right to abortion until birth with no restrictions. The bill had already passed the House, and Gov. Tim Walz has publicly declared his intention to sign it into law.

Abortion is already considered a right through the 1995 court decision Doe v. Gomez. The passage of this law cements the legal protection of abortion in Minnesota. If Doe v. Gomez were overturned, a legal framework for abortion would still exist.

The Minnesota senate voted 34-33 along party lines to pass the bill. The previous week, the Minnesota House passed it by a vote of 69-65.

Like Illinois, Minnesota would allow abortion at all stages of pregnancy, and it would do so without any parental notification requirements.

January 27, 2023

Pro-Abortion Extremists Charged by FBI for Vandalizing Pro-Life Facilities

Amber Smith-Stewart, 23, and Caleb Freestone, 27 were charged with painting threatening messages on pro-life facilities in Florida. Amber claims to be a member of Antifa.

The pair were indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy against rights and violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.

After a Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked, Smith-Stewart and Freestone, working with unidentified conspirators, allegedly spray-painted threatening messages on three pro-life pregnancy centers. The messages included, “If abortions aren’t SAFE then neither are you” and “YOUR TIME IS UP!!” Similar messages were painted at buildings operated by pro-life pregnancy centers and activist groups across the country.

Each defendant faces up to 12 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000.

After the draft Dobbs opinion leaked, vandalism and arson against pro-life pregnancy centers and activist groups spiked. This appears to be the first FACE Act charges made by the Biden administration against pro-abortion radicals since that wave of violence began last summer. In the meantime, Biden's Department of Justice has wasted no time arresting and charging peaceful pro-life advocates with violation of the same law.

US Legislators Introduce Bill to Defund Colleges that Dispense Abortion Pills

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) introduced legislation last Friday that would remove federal funding from colleges and universities that provide students or employees with abortion pills.

The Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2023 would prohibit "the award of federal funds to an institution of higher education that hosts or is affiliated with a student-based service site that provides abortion drugs or abortions or abortions" to students or staff. The bill defines abortion drugs in such a way that would include any drugs designed to produce an outcome other than live birth, removing an already deceased child, or treating an ectopic pregnancy. This definition includes "emergency contraception" drugs like Plan B, which can cause abortions.

During the lame-duck session at the beginning of the month, Illinois lawmakers were considering legislation requiring public colleges and universities to provide "emergency contraception" in vending machines. "Emergency contraception" like Plan B can cause an abortion by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the mother's womb. HB4664, the major pro-abortion bill that the Illinois General Assembly passed, did not include this language in its final form. This policy will likely reappear in future Illinois legislation.

The Protecting Life on College Campus Act of 2023 is unlikely the pass the pro-abortion majority in the US Senate. It does show the continued commitment of pro-life legislators and serves as another example of what could pass with a pro-life majority.

January 26, 2023

Judge Rules Arizona Ban on Discriminatory Abortions Can Remain in Effect

On Jan. 19, US District Court Judge Douglas Rayes refused to block an Arizona pro-life law prohibiting discriminatory abortions.

The law prohibits abortionists from committing an abortion decided purely due to the child's diagnosis with a genetic condition (such as down syndrome). The pro-life law was passed in 2021, but it was blocked shortly afterward under the precedent of Roe v. Wade. After the US Supreme Court overturned Roe, the law went into effect. Pro-abortion groups sued in an attempt to block the law again, but Rayes's decision rejected their arguments.

Rayes noted that no harm has occurred to abortion advocates since the law came into effect, and he cannot rule on theoretical harm unless it conflicts with a constitutional right. “Plaintiffs’ ability to provide (abortion) care without undue state interference is a battle fought and lost in Dobbs,” Rayes wrote.

Abortion in Arizona is currently legal until 15 weeks due to a separate decision by the state Court of Appeals. That decision sought to reconcile Arizona's 15-week abortion ban with an 1864 law that prohibited nearly all abortions. The ban on discriminatory abortions applies regardless of gestational age.

Arizona's current administration has no plans to appeal decisions striking down pro-life laws, and it is similarly unlikely to enforce them.

January 25, 2023

National Right to Life Annual Report Now Available

On Monday, the National Right to Life Committee released its tenth annual report summarizing important developments in the fight for the unborn. The report provides information on state and federal legislation, and it analyzes annual abortion statistics.

Notably, National Right to Life now estimates that 64,443,118 abortions have been performed in the United States since 1973. This estimate is based on data from the CDC and the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.

The report also details (among other things):
  • the increasing percentage of abortions completed via the abortion pill regimen. This number is likely to increase even more, as pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens are set to start filling abortion pill prescriptions.
  • how states protect or deny the right to life through legislation, constitutional amendments, or court decisions. Click here to read about the pro-abortion legislation signed by IL Gov. JB Pritzker earlier this month.
“Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, we have seen the state of abortion in the United States shift dramatically as many states moved to enact laws that would protect unborn children and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Pro-life education and legislative efforts are making an impact on our culture and in the lives of women facing unexpected pregnancies. But there is still much to be done.”

January 24, 2023

Illinois Woman Tells Story of Abortion Survival

An Illinois woman named Jennifer Milbourn recently spoke with Live Action News to tell the story of how she survived an attempted abortion.

Jennifer's adoptive mother told her the story at age 19. Jennifer's birth mother (her adoptive mother's younger sister) showed up at her adoptive mother's home. She asked to be taken to the abortion clinic. The adoptive mother tried to convince her sister not to abort; even offering to adopt the baby. Jennifer's birth mother refused, saying it would make her too uncomfortable. The sisters went to the abortion clinic together, but Jennifer survived the attempt on her life. Only after this event did the birth mother allow her younger sister to adopt Jennifer.

“It was a vacuum aspiration procedure,” Jennifer told Live Action News, “which is the vacuum tube that will suck the baby out. My head was gestationally larger than the abortionist was expecting, which more than likely meant my birth mom had told them that she wasn’t as far along as she was. Basically, they started the procedure, [but] my head was too big to go into the tube. They stopped the procedure and said, ‘More than likely you’ll miscarry because there’s been a hole in the embryonic sac. Go home and you’ll just miscarry.’ But lo and behold, everything was fine.”

Jennifer told Live Action News that her mother's life had been difficult in a lot of ways. She suffered from alcoholism, and there were rumors of other abortions before Jennifer's conception. Jennifer said that her birth mother fell for the lie that abortion is health care, and she did not realize that she was carrying a human life with inherent value. Jennifer never spoke with her birth mother about the abortion before she died, but Jennifer did forgive her.

Jennifer is now a member of the Abortion Survivors Network, a group of over 650 people who survived abortion and tell their stories to help the pro-life cause. “I was really grateful because I couldn’t sit there and say that I was alone anymore in that,” she told Live Action News.

It is unclear how many children survive abortion. There are no federal reporting requirements. A recent report from Florida indicated that eight children survived abortions in that state during the year 2022.

January 23, 2023

Attorneys for Sidewalk Counselor Arrested by FBI Reveal Defense During Pretrial Hearing

Sidewalk counselor Mark Houck, who was arrested on FACE Act charges by a group of armed FBI agents at his home last September, had a pretrial hearing last week. Houck is represented by the Thomas More Society, which revealed a surprising argument in Houck's defense.

Mark Houck was charged with violating the FACE Act for pushing a clinic escort who was harassing Houck's son outside the clinic. City police declined to file assault charges. The escort's private criminal complaint was dismissed after the escort repeatedly failed to appear in court.

The Thomas More Society argues that FACE Act was expressly intended to exclude escorts operating outside abortion clinics. This is because escorts do not provide "reproductive health services" inside a facility, as required by the FACE Act.

“The FACE Act was never intended to cover disputes between advocates on the public sidewalks outside of our nation’s abortion clinics,” declared Thomas More Society Executive Vice President & Head of Litigation Peter Breen, who is representing Houck. “This new evidence shows clearly that Congress intended to limit the FACE Act to patients and staff working in the clinic, and not to take sides between pro-life and pro-choice counselors and escorts on the sidewalk. The Biden Department of Justice’s prosecution of Mark Houck is pure harassment, meant solely to intimidate our nation’s pro-life sidewalk counselors who provide vital resources to help pregnant women at risk for abortion.”

The Thomas More Society highlighted a bipartisan amendment they negotiated to prevent clinic escorts from filing lawsuits under the FACE Act.