While pro-life activist Mark Houck was found not guilty Monday of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, new information is coming to light that's spurring others to call into question why the Department of Justice ever brought the charges — that could have landed Houck in prison for 11 years — in the first place.
What are the details?
Much has been made of Houck shoving to the ground 72-year-old Brian Love, a volunteer "escort" at the Planned Parenthood Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center in Philadelphia.
But critics are saying video of an interaction between Houck and Love in October 2021 shows Love initiated the confrontation — and that he went out of his way to do so:
Fox News' Sean Hannity, narrating the above clip, said it shows Houck and his son "standing away from the entrance to the clinic when he is approached by the escort, identified as Bruce Love, who repeatedly tried to antagonize Houck." Indeed, the clip shows father and son standing on the corner of Locust and South 12th Street, which appears to be about 40 to 50 feet from the clinic entrance. Nevertheless, Love was the one approaching them.
Digital strategist Greg Price agreed, noting in the above tweet that the "escort ... clearly walks down the road to where Houck and his son are praying and counseling to threaten them"
Houck's wife — Ryan-Marie Houck — told LifeSiteNews that a "pro-abortion protester" would say awful things to her son such as "you’re dad’s a fag."
Houck's wife also claimed Love got into their son's "personal space" and refused to stop saying "crude … inappropriate and disgusting" things to the father and son, and the shove followed.
The incident went nowhere until President Joe Biden's DOJ charged Houck with violating the FACE Act, which condemns anyone who, with "force or threat of force or by physical obstruction, intentionally injures, intimidates or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person because that person is or has been, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from, obtaining or providing reproductive health services."
Nearly a year after the Houck-Love dust-up, 25 FBI agents with guns drawn showed up to Houck's home and arrested him.
After a look at the video, Red State opined that the DOJ got involved "for purely political reasons, attempting to discourage pro-life activists via the full weight and power of the U.S. government from non-violently protesting and praying outside abortion facilities. It shows just how compromised the DOJ is."
The outlet added that "what makes this situation all the worse, though, is that the punishment was the prosecution. Houck had to spend thousands of dollars and put his life on the line to defend himself from a malicious hit that was only carried out to push the far-left’s radical pro-abortion agenda. Lawfare has become standard fare for the DOJ, and it’s scary stuff."
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