FBI agents reportedly raided the home of a pro-life activist in Pennsylvania on Friday and arrested him.
A group of between 25 and 30 FBI agents raided the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, home of pro-life activist Mark Houck early Friday morning, his family told LifeSite News. Houck is the leader of a nonprofit group that provides sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics in Philadelphia. The arrest seemed to stem from a court case that was dismissed by a federal court in Philadelphia, but was somehow picked up by the Department of Justice, his family said.
“The kids were all just screaming,” Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, told LifeSite. “It was all just very scary and traumatic.”
Ryan-Marie Houck told the outlet that the group of agents in SWAT gear arrived in 15 vehicles outside the family home at around 7:05 a.m. Friday morning. The agents quickly surrounded the house and began pounding on the door, demanding they open up. Houck reportedly tried to get the agents to calm down, noting that his seven children were scared, but the agents kept shouting. “[T]hey had big, huge rifles pointed at Mark and pointed at me and kind of pointed throughout the house,” his wife said.
Houck and his wife asked the agents why they were there, to which the agents allegedly replied that they were there to arrest him. His wife asked for a warrant, but “they said that they were going to take him whether they had a warrant or not,” Ryan-Marie Houck recalled. She protested, saying that what the agents were doing was tantamount to kidnapping. Only then did they provide a copy of the warrant. Shortly afterward, Houck was apparently taken out and put into one of the vehicles.
But the FBI agents quickly softened once they realized the distress they had inflicted on the family, Houck’s wife recounted. “After they had taken Mark, and the kids were all screaming that he was their best friend, the [agents] kind of softened a bit,” she said. “I think they realized what was happening. Or maybe they actually looked at the warrant.”
“They looked pretty ashamed at what had just happened,” she added.
According to the warrant, shared by LifeSite reporter Patrick Delaney, Houck’s arrest stems from an indictment on charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994, specifically for “attack[ing] a patient escort.”
According to his wife, Houck was providing sidewalk counseling at abortion centers in Philadelphia last year, and had taken his then 12-year-old son. On multiple occasions over weeks, a “pro-abortion protestor” allegedly shouted vulgarities and insults at the boy. Houck repeatedly told the protestor not to speak to his son, but the protestor continued to encroach on the boy’s personal space, still spewing vulgarities. Finally, Houck shoved the man away, causing him to fall down. The protestor was not injured, but tried to sue Houck. Though the case was thrown out this summer, it was somehow picked up by the DOJ, Ryan-Marie Houck said.
Below is the first page of the warrant issued for the FBI SWAT raid of Catholic pro-life speaker, author and sidewalk councilor, Mike Houck. pic.twitter.com/XeVLhbxAYI
— Patrick Delaney (@PatrickDDelaney) September 24, 2022
Conservative leaders slammed the FBI raid as another example of the political weaponization of the FBI.
“In case you hadn’t caught on already, the satanic Biden administration is waging war on Christians,” Daily Wire podcast host Michael Knowles tweeted, linking to the original report.
“This is a disgrace and should not be happening in America,” LifeSite co-founder and editor-in-chief John Henry Westen wrote on Twitter. “Pray for Mark Houck and his family.”
“So, a man who does nothing but run an org that teaches men to be strong Catholics and sidewalk counsels outside Planned Parenthoods had 30 armed federal agents sent to his house and is now facing jail time over an incident that resulted in a failed lawsuit,” conservative digital strategist Greg Price said.
“The FBI has turned into Biden’s secret police force,” Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) wrote. “Sending a small army of heavily armed agents to raid Mark Houck’s home should frighten EVERY American. The FBI using fear & intimidation tactics to go after conservatives needs to END!!”
“The continued weaponization of the FBI and persecution by Joe Biden’s DOJ against ordinary Americans is an outrage,” Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano said in a statement. “Citizens across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania join me in expressing our outrage at this early-morning raid executed on a young family. This show of force carried out by the Biden regime against ordinary Americans is an abuse of power that stands against the fundamental principles our nation was founded on.”