Lawsuit filed against "compromised and biased DOJ" for targeting Mark Houck

Shawn Carney with Marck Houck/40 Days for Life

Pro-life advocate Mark Houck filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) last November and in May 40 Days for Life joined with their own case filing in support of the Houck family.

Houck’s lawsuit laid out the malicious actions by the DOJ, which went after Houck over an incident involving him and his minor son near a Philadelphia-area Planned Parenthood abortion facility. It’s perhaps the most notorious example of the federal government’s targeting of pro-life advocates.

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In March 2023, the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland on the DOJ’s handling and possible targeting of pro-life activists since the overturn of Roe v Wade.

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley asked Garland if he had a problem with anti-Catholic bias (Houck is Catholic), and then pressed further, citing the Houck case as an example.

Hawley expressed disgust at the use of 20-30 agents to raid the Houck home, which Hawley labeled, “an unbelievable show of force.”

Support for Houck from 40 Days for Life has been present from the start of the DOJ’s going after him, Houck having backed 40 Days from its 2007 inception. 40 Days for Life President and CEO Shawn Carney noted how Houck has always been a peaceful and prayerful man.

“This lawsuit won’t defend only Mark’s rights—but also the rights of ALL pro-life Americans targeted by the compromised and biased DOJ,” Carney said.

Tweet This: “This lawsuit won’t defend only Mark’s rights—but also the rights of ALL pro-life Americans targeted by the compromised and biased DOJ.”

The DOJ has its mission, “to uphold the rule of law, to keep our country safe, and to protect civil rights.”

The 40 Days for Life lawsuit recounts the incidents leading to the raid of the Houck home.

Things were set in motion in October 2021 when a Planned Parenthood volunteer named Bruce Love was hostile toward Houck’s 12-year-old son, and cursing at the boy while he and his father were demonstrating at the abortion facility, which prompted Houck to push Love away from his son.

The local police and district attorney both declined to press charges in the incident. Love filed private criminal charges that were later dismissed by a judge.

The DOJ then centered in on Houck for investigation, sending him a letter citing the incident with Love as a felony violation of the FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act.

Houck’s attorney responded in a letter back to the DOJ stating Houck would turn himself in; this letter was ignored for months. The next contact came in September 2022 as the FBI raided the Houck home en masse with automatic weapons.

Houck came out to the porch with his hands raised in surrender, still, the agents proceeded past him to enter the house, where Houck’s wife inquired if the officers had a warrant.

“He is coming with us with or without a warrant,” one agent responded.

Houck was cuffed and his feet shackled, taken in front of his traumatized children as if he were a terrorist. Transported to a station in downtown Philadelphia, Houck was chained to a table in a room left alone for six hours before anyone talked with him.

It only took a pro-abortion jury less than an hour to acquit Houck.

“The abuse of our federal government is at an all-time high,” said Carney. “The new blatant bigotry and hatred that the DOJ has for pro-life Americans and for Catholic Americans is a recent and dangerous phenomenon.”

The newly established 40 Days for Life Institute of Law & Justice took action in this case based on the belief these malevolent acts against the Houck family were designed to intimidate pro-lifers everywhere into silence.

The Houcks and 40 Days for Life believe that the government must be held accountable for its actions.

Pro-life advocates are watching closely and keeping the Houck in prayer family as they seek justice from the DOJ.

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