by Mary Margaret Olohan
Republican lawmakers will hold a hearing next week focusing on the Department of Justice’s targeting of pro-life activists like Mark Houck through the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, The Daily Signal has learned.
On Tuesday morning, the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution and limited government will revisit the “Implications of the FACE Act,” examining the shockingly high numbers of attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers around the nation as well as President Joe Biden’s administration’s use of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
Houck, a Catholic father of seven arrested by the FBI at gunpoint in front of his children, will testify at the hearing on Tuesday on Capitol Hill, The Daily Signal has learned.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division enforces the FACE Act, which “prohibits threats of force, obstruction and property damage intended to interfere with reproductive health care services.” The FACE Act has typically been used to prosecute those accused of attacking abortion clinics, but its language also protects pro-life organizations.
In 2022 alone, the DOJ Civil Rights Division charged 26 pro-life individuals with FACE Act violations. One of these individuals was Houck.
The FBI’s FACE Act charges against Houck stemmed from a 2021 incident outside a Philadelphia-based Planned Parenthood where Houck pushed an abortion clinic volunteer who was repeatedly harassing his son (Mark Jr.). Local authorities ultimately dismissed the matter—until the Biden DOJ re-upped it in response to the overturn of Roe v. Wade.
Houck and his wife, Ryan-Marie, told The Daily Signal that Biden’s DOJ targeted them in an effort to intimidate, silence, and scare the family for their pro-life work—praying outside abortion clinics for the women headed inside to abort their unborn babies.
The hearing will also focus on the fact that despite the growing number of ideological attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and Catholic churches, the DOJ has only prosecuted a few of these incidents.