The trial for pro-life activist and Catholic father of seven Mark Houck started Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Gerald J. Pappert in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The Department of Justice is targeting 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’s been charged with violating the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, was defending his son from a harassing pro-abortion activist. Houck is facing 11 years behind bars and $350,000 in fines if convicted.
“This is a political prosecution,” said one of Houck’s attorneys, Peter Breen, Thomas More Society vice president. Breen added his client is innocent