(LifeSiteNews) — Following the major pro-life victory of Mark Houck being acquitted of all charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, the pro-life author and father of seven described how the altercation in question took place because an abortion center escort “overstepped his bounds” when engaging with Houck’s 12-year-old son.
Fox News host Sean Hannity interviewed Houck and his lead attorney, Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, after a federal jury found the pro-life defendant not guilty of both of the charges against him. Houck told Hannity that it was “on September 23 about 6:45 in the morning” when “20 so-called agents” of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stormed his home in Pennsylvania and arrested him in front of his young children.
The agency charged him with violating the FACE Act, claiming that an altercation with a Planned Parenthood escort prevented women from accessing the abortion facility. In an interview aired earlier today, Hannity asked Houck to describe what happened on October 13, 2021. Houck commented on the situation while they watched footage of the incident.
“At this point, he’s about a foot away from my son,” the pro-life author explained as the video showed Bruce Love, the escort, approaching the peaceful protestors. “After already having one altercation with him, he’s making my son extremely nervous.”
“My son moves behind me. I can tell he’s visibly scared,” Houck continues to describe the scene. “There proceeds to be further insults at me, directed at my son about me. And at this point, I step in, and I tell Mr. Love — you’ll see right now—to go back to where he normally stands. So, I walk him there and tell him to stop talking to my son — he doesn’t have any permission to talk to my son. Next thing I know, he turns around and he’s talking to my son again. And then you see the push.”
Although Love had directed “all sorts of insults [and] vulgarity” towards the father and son in the past, Houck said that in his 20 years of sidewalk counseling, this was “the first time he’s really overstepped his bounds.” He added that his son, who was 12-years-old at the time, “was the bait” for Love to push too far with his harassment.
Peter Breen, Houck’s lead attorney who was also part of the interview with Hannity, further explained that his client was “well away from the entrance” of the Planned Parenthood facility.
“The FACE Act, the federal act that they charged here, is about access to the clinics,” Breen said. “It’s not about dealing with issues down the sidewalk, and this issue should have been in the municipal court. And it actually was, and the municipal court threw it out because Mr. Love wouldn’t show up for trial.”
Breen added that the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ) “sent their best prosecutor, their top guy for FACE prosecutions, from Washington to help deal with this case in Philly.” However, the jury “took about an hour to find Mark not guilty on all charges.”
Houck’s trial began on January 24 and was adjourned for the weekend due to a deadlocked jury. Reconvening Monday morning, one of the jurors was replaced, and Monday afternoon the jury had acquitted Houck of all charges, as LifeSiteNews reported. In their winning argument, attorneys proved that Houck pushed Love in defense of his son rather than in an attempt to prevent Love from walking women into the abortion facility to kill their unborn babies.
Attorneys also argued that the FACE Act does not apply to “demonstrators” or “escorts,” discrediting the claim that Houck violated the federal act. Brian McMonagle, who worked with Thomas More Society attorneys on the case, pointed out that the Planned Parenthood guide for escorts clearly states that they are to avoid engaging in altercations with protestors, a rule which Love failed to follow.
Hannity, who also emphasized Love’s lack of adherence to the policies, wondered at the end of his interview with Houck and Breen if “the Biden DOJ [will] go after those groups that are attacking pro-life organizations.”
Since the rise in targeting pro-life advocates such as Mark Houck and Fr. Fidelis Moscinski, the FBI has been mostly silent regarding the string of violent attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and churches which occurred in the wake and aftermath of the Dobbs decision. In an unusual move, the federal agency announced earlier this month that it was offering a $25,000 reward for information on the pro-abortion violence. Last week, a federal grand jury indicted two pro-abortion activists who allegedly vandalized pro-life pregnancy centers in violation of the FACE Act.
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