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(LifeSiteNews) – A ballot measure to ensure basic medical care for newborns who survive failed abortions is on the track to be rejected by Montana voters. As of Wednesday morning, 52.6% of counted votes were against enacting the bill to protect newborn babies and 47.4% voted to pass the referendum. Roughly 80% of total votes have come in so far.

The vote has not yet been officially called for either “yes” or “no” on the ballot measure.

The measure, Referendum 131 (also known as House Bill 0167), stated, “An infant born alive is a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the state and is entitled to the protections of the laws, including the right to appropriate and reasonable medical care and treatment.”

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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. 


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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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“In the absence of proper legal protections, newly born infants who have survived abortions have been denied appropriate lifesaving or life-sustaining medical care and treatment and have been left to die,” the measure noted.

Medical professionals who “purposely, knowingly, or negligently violate” the law would face felony charges, be fined up to $50,000, and possibly spend up to 20 years in state prison. Anyone affiliated with a medical center who is aware of a “failure to comply” with the law would be required to report the incident to law enforcement immediately.

Ensuring newborns who survive failed abortions are not left to die is generally regarded as a moderate proposal, but is routinely opposed by the abortion lobby and the left. Pro-lifers are facing defeat on all statewide abortion-related ballot measures this election, which in addition to Montana were voted on in Vermont, California, Kentucky, and Michigan.

READ: Left-wing states vote for ‘right’ to abortion in midterm defeat for pro-lifers

Meanwhile, Montana voters showed tremendous support for a different ballot measure regarding privacy of personal data. Eighty-two percent of Montanans voted to amend the state’s constitution to “include electronic data and communications in search and seizure protections.”

Republican Ryan Zinke is currently ahead of Democrat Monica Tranel in the race for Montana’s new seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. With 80% of votes in, Zinke leads the close race at 49.9% compared to Tranel who has 46.3% of the votes. Zinke, who was nominated by then-president Trump to be Secretary of the Interior in 2016, has a history of supporting pro-life legislation and is in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. Rep. Matt Rosendale, a Republican, won re-election for Montana’s other House seat.


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