WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Mark Houck, the pro-life Catholic father of seven who was subjected to a guns-drawn early morning raid by the Biden administration’s FBI last year before he was fully acquitted of felony charges in January, said he was “blessed to be able to share” his testimony with lawmakers on the Republican-led U.S. House Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
During the May 16 hearing on “Revisiting the Implications of the FACE Act,” Republicans highlighted Houck’s story – broken by LifeSiteNews last year – as they argued that the Biden administration has selectively enforced the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act to target pro-life advocates and organizations.
Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson called on Houck as the first witness following an opening statement blasting the Biden administration for its “brazen and unwarranted” raid against Houck and alleged targeting of other pro-lifers even while “radical left-wing groups go unpunished.”
During his five-minute testimony, Houck told lawmakers he has been involved in pro-life work including protests and prayer vigils “in front of many abortuaries in Philadelphia” for 20 years, explaining his involvement was “always peaceful.” He went on to recount the 2021 events that would later spark an FBI raid, which LifeSiteNews has extensively reported.
Houck said the much-publicized sidewalk altercation that culminated in him pushing an aggressive abortion volunteer away from his young son had not been picked up by local authorities. The Biden administration’s Department of Justice later took it up, however, and carried out a dawn raid on Houck and his family on September 23, 2022, despite the fact that Houck offered to turn himself in voluntarily after being notified of the indictment. Houck, who pleaded not guilty to both charges, was fully acquitted on January 30 by a unanimous jury.
Thanking the lawmakers for inviting him to the Houck said he was “blessed to be able to share” his testimony.
“God bless you, Mr. Houck, what you had to go through,” said Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
Arguing that “politics is driving the agenda in far too many agencies in our government,” Rep. Jordan said conservatives and pro-lifers like Houck have been “targeted by our government,” something he said is “not supposed to happen in the greatest nation ever, where we have a Bill of Rights, we have a Constitution, we have the rule of law.”
During the question and answer session, Jordan said that authorities had used “common sense” when they opted not to prosecute Houck and blasted the Biden administration for sending the FBI to his door after he had “volunteered to turn [himself] in.”
Asked why he thought the Biden administration did so, Houck responded that he had “been thinking about that for many months,” and concluded that “the intention was to humiliate me, to scare my children, and to instill fear in pro-life America.”
Linking Houck’s arrest and prosecution with the since-retracted Richmond, Virginia, FBI memo directing surveillance of certain “radical traditionalist Catholics” (Houck clarified that he attends a Novus Ordo Mass), Jordan suggested that Houck was targeted by the FBI because he is a “pro-life, pro-family Catholic.”
“You were the example, and that is how pervasive this political attitude is,” Jordan said, blasting the FBI for reportedly employing “informants and snitches inside the Catholic church to go rat out people like Mark Houck.”
Later in the hearing Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy asked Houck whether the Biden administration has apologized to Houck for the raid and prosecution. Houck responded that he had received no such apology.
During the two-hour hearing, Republican and Democrat lawmakers questioned numerous other witnesses about the FACE Act and its application in relation to both pro-life resource centers and abortion facilities.
Republicans insisted that the Biden administration has “selectively enforced” the FACE act to go after pro-lifers like Houck while failing to prosecute the more than 100 attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers and churches since the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked last year.
For their part, Democrats alleged that Republicans were spreading “disinformation” and a “false narrative,” claiming the federal government is not targeting pro-lifers, who they said posed more of a threat than pro-abortion activists, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of recent abortion-related political violence has been targeted at pro-life organizations.
They said Republicans were engaging in “manufactured outrage” while repeatedly slamming an as-yet nonexistent nationwide abortion ban.
Talcott Camp, Chief Legal & Strategy Officer for the National Abortion Federation (NAF) – a coalition of abortionists – cited a recent report by her organization that alleged a sharp uptick in “anti-abortion violence,” which NAF defines to include attempts by pro-life advocates to convince women not to abort their babies. The report explicitly downplays violence against pro-life centers, deriding them as “fake clinics” and “another tactic in the war on bodily autonomy.”
However, Rep. Roy cited FBI Director Christopher Wray who said that 70 percent of abortion-related violence in the wake of the overthrow of Roe v. Wade last summer has been against pro-life groups and churches, not pro-abortion organizations.
Making their case that the federal government has unfairly targeted pro-life conservatives, Republicans noted that, to date, just four pro-abortion activists have been indicted for vandalism since the fall of Roe v. Wade in June, all of whom are charged with violating the FACE act for attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers in Florida.
Meanwhile, the federal government has prosecuted pro-life advocates like Mark Houck and Eva Edl, the 87-year-old concentration camp survivor who was charged with federal crimes for her involvement in a peaceful protest inside a Nashville, Tennessee, abortion clinic.
Houck’s participation in Tuesday’s hearing comes after Houck said in February that he was able to speak with sympathetic members of Congress when he attended the State of the Union address.
The pro-life dad has said he wants to ensure that Planned Parenthood and the Biden FBI are “held to account,” and to prevent the federal government from being weaponized against any other pro-life advocates. In February, Houck said he was “most definitely” planning to press charges against the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) for the “reckless” FBI raid that “terrorized” his young children.