(LifeSiteNews) — In the aftermath of his victory in federal court, Mark Houck shared a message of encouragement with pro-lifers who are facing scrutiny from state or federal law enforcement.
During an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, the longtime sidewalk counselor spoke to the reality that the Biden administration has been targeting pro-lifers since the overturning of Roe v. Wade and urging them to continue fighting for life even amid apparent persecution.
“Keep the faith and trust in God,” Houck told LifeSiteNews’ Nick Marmalejo. “Trust in His provision for you and your family.”
He recommended that pro-lifers turn to God as well as their “heavenly patrons” and guardian angels to walk with them during their fight for life. Houck also expressed that there is joy to be found in suffering for the glory of God.
“Use the suffering, the sadness, the worry, if there is any, the anxiety — use it to draw closer to Christ, to draw strength from His own suffering, the persecution of a righteous man,” he said. “We understand that the Kingdom of God is available to those who suffer in the name of Jesus.”
He also pointed out that while fear is a natural response to being persecuted for speaking the truth, “fear is not of God.” Houck recalled how fear did not overtake him until ten minutes before the jury announced its verdict, at which point he experienced that strong emotional response.
UPDATE (01/30/23): Mark Houck has been AQUITTED on both charges!
Thanks be to God LifeSiteNews can report that Mark Houck has been found "Not Guilty" on all counts today.
In a statement to LifeSiteNews, Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania spokeswoman and Houck family friend Ashley Garecht said “We rejoice and celebrate that Mark Houck has been found not guilty on all counts.”
“This case was always about a father’s right to protect his son, and never had anything to do with the FACE act,” she said. “We are grateful to the judge for his integrity, and to the jurors for their thoughtful deliberations. We are grateful to Mark’s attorneys who labored so diligently in his defense. And we are grateful for all of those who surrounded and supported Mark and his family in prayer through this challenging ordeal.”
“Most of all we praise and thank God for his protection and provision,” Garecht added. “To Him be all the glory.”
The Thomas More Society is set to hold a press conference today on the 6th street side of the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia.
Monday’s verdict came after a tense weekend wait following a deadlocked jury on Friday.
Several hours into Monday’s deliberations after the jury reconvened, an alternate was chosen to replace one of the jurors. Just before 3:00 p.m. EST, the jury delivered its verdict, acquitting Houck on both charges.
Mark Houck, a pro-life Catholic father of 7, became the latest victim of an FBI raid and arrest on the morning of Friday September 23 — for supposed “FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act” violations — at his rural home as his children looked on “screaming.”
The arrest and raid stems from an altercation with a Planned Parenthood worker.
According to Mark’s wife Ryan-Marie, a “pro-abortion protester” would verbally harrass Mark's 12-year old son — hurling vulgar and derogatory statements.
When the protestor encroached in the boy's space, Mark defended his son. At that point, “Mark shoved him away from his child, and the guy fell back,” Ryan-Marie recounts.
The protestor was not injured, but he tried to sue Mark Houck for the assault but his case was thrown out of court in the early summer.
WE CANNOT ALLOW THE LEFT TO HARRASS PRO-LIFE ADVOCATES THIS WAY!
It's vital to stand in solidarity with a pro-family and pro-life man being unjustly persecuted - please SIGN & SHARE our message of support now.
In case you hadn't caught on already, the satanic Biden administration is waging war on Christians. https://t.co/E6ChpZVDYW— Michael (X) Knowles ✊ (@michaeljknowles) September 24, 2022
The description of this arrest sounds like it took place in a totalitarian state. A tragic unraveling of Justice in America. https://t.co/e3vEID7E39— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) September 25, 2022
If convicted, Houck faces up to a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000, according to the Justice Department.
Additional conservative pro-life leaders have weighed in — this is why we need your support ASAP.
“Just in the last few days we’ve seen some pretty glaring examples of what appear to be instances of DOJ [Department of Justice] overreach. You’ve got a Catholic father of seven who formed a group designed to encourage young men to be faithful to their commitments, arrested in front of his seven children just recently. You’ve got all these instances of overreach. It’s deeply concerning to us all. These are all things we’re gonna be looking into.” — US Senator Mike Lee
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Houck explained that he endured the trial by “trusting in God that regardless of what happens, even if I was in prison, that it would be for the best. That it would be for the best for my family and that it would be for the best for me. And that takes some faith, and we have to ask God every day to give us greater faith and greater trust in His goodness and plan for our lives.”
“Nothing’s really changing as far as the mission,” Houck said when asked about his plans after his victory in court. “We’ll continue to do what we always do … knowing that we have the full protection of the law and the First Amendment.”
Since the leaked majority opinion regarding the Dobbs case, pro-life advocates and organizations have been targets of violence. The acts of vandalism, many of which were allegedly committed by pro-abortion extremist group Jane’s Revenge, continued in the aftermath of the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade. In November, the FBI director announced that nearly 70% of abortion-related violence after the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision was directed against pro-life groups.
Weeks after Houck’s arrest, pro-life activist Paul Vaughn was raided by the FBI for allegedly violating the FACE Act. Similarly, Red Rose Rescuer Fr. Fidelis Moscinski was found guilty on January 23 of violating the same federal law.
Mark Houck says he ‘most definitely’ will press charges for FBI raid that ‘terrorized’ his children
FBI offers $25,000 reward for information on attacks against pro-life pregnancy centers