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Pro-life activist and Catholic father of seven Mark Houck and his wife are suing the Biden Department of Justice over Houck’s shocking arrest last year by an estimated 20 armed FBI agents at his Pennsylvania home in front of his children.
The DOJ targeted Houck, who leads a nonprofit group that provides sidewalk counseling at abortion clinics in Philadelphia, over an incident from 2021 involving his then-12-year-old son at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. The family says Houck, who was facing 11 years behind bars and fines up to $350,000, was defending his son from a harassing pro-abortion activist. In January, Houck was acquitted of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances a.k.a. FACE Act charges.
According to the suit, which was filed Monday, Houck is seeking $1.1 million for malicious prosecution, retaliatory prosecution, false arrest, abuse of process, and assault, The Daily Signal reported.
The suit describes the infamous arrest as “unnecessary and unlawful show of force” and an infringement of Houck’s Fourth Amendment rights. Officers used “excessive force” to arrest the activist on “non-violent charges when he had not threatened law enforcement, did not own a gun, and had offered to turn himself in to authorities if indicted,” the suit reads.
His wife, Ryan-Marie Houck, is seeking $3.25 million in damages. The complaint says Ryan-Marie has had numerous miscarriages in the wake of the traumatic arrest due to stress and PTSD, and now finds herself infertile.
“Mrs. Houck has also shouldered the emotional distress of caring for her seven children and their individual needs as they each process their own trauma from these events,” the suit reads. “The children continually come to her crying and suffering from nightmares. They slept in bed with her and her husband for the first month after the arrest, and they continue to ask to sleep in their parents’ bed. The children are easily triggered whenever the situation is brought up or unannounced guests arrive at the property, and she spends a significant amount of time counseling and comforting them.”
In the aftermath of the arrest, a fundraising account on platform GiveSendGo set up for the Houck’s described the incident as follows: “Mark and his son were praying in front of the [Planned Parenthood] at 12th and Locust. When one of the escorts began harassing Mark’s son they walked down the street away from the entrance to the building. The escort followed them, and when he continued yelling at Mark’s son, Mark pushed him away.”
“It’s all on video,” the post continues. “But that hasn’t stopped Planned Parenthood and the Biden Administration. With no prior warning, and in spite of the fact that Mark is represented by an attorney, Biden’s Justice Department sent a fully armed SWAT team into a home full of young children at daybreak, to arrest a father for protecting his son.”