(RightWing.org) – A leading pro-life activist is suing the Department of Justice. Mark Houck was arrested at his home on charges related to a 2021 dispute at a Pennsylvania abortion clinic. He claims the officers who arrested him used excessive force.
On October 13, 2021, Mark Houck, a Catholic anti-abortion activist, protested outside Planned Parenthood’s Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center in Philadelphia. During the event, he allegedly pushed Bruce Love, a 72-year-old man who was serving as a patient escort, knocking him to the ground.
Houck was later arrested for alleged violations of the 1994 FACE Act, which bans the use of intimidation, force, or physical obstruction to prevent someone from entering an abortion clinic. He didn’t deny pushing Love — but on January 30 he was acquitted on all charges.
Now Houck is pushing back at the Justice Department. On November 8, he filed a lawsuit against the DoJ, alleging that the department conducted a faulty investigation against him and then used excessive force during his arrest. A SWAT team of around two dozen officers turned up at Houck’s home and detained him in front of his family.
His attorneys said the charge he was arrested on was non-violent and Houck himself didn’t own a gun, hadn’t threatened police officers before his arrest, and, most importantly, according to court documents, Houck had already told cops he would turn himself in if he was indicted. Despite this, when the agents arrived at his home they threatened to break the door down if he didn’t open it for them.
Houck is looking for $1.1 million in damages from the FBI and DoJ, but he also wants to see them held to account for the campaign against him. His lawyers are saying the DoJ should never have gotten involved in this case. Houck hopes he can persuade them to do better in the future.
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