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PHILADELPHIA (ChurchMilitant.com) - A pro-life speaker and Catholic father of seven has been acquitted on charges related to a confrontation outside an abortion mill.
The jury acquitted Mark Houck on two charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
Peter Breen, the Thomas More Society's executive vice president and head of litigation said in a statement, "We are, of course, thrilled with the outcome."
Mark and his family are now free of the cloud that the Biden administration threw upon them. We took on the Goliath — the full might of the United States government — and won. The jury saw through and rejected the prosecution's discriminatory case, which was harassment from day one. The Biden Department of Justice's intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.
The FACE Act, signed into law in 1994, bans "violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services."
The jury's decision, which was reached Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, came hours after one of the 12 jurors was replaced with an alternate.
A SWAT team came to Houck's home in September and arrested him. His wife says the couple's children were present when the arrest was made.
Pro-abortion escort Bruce Love claims Houck shoved him to the ground outside of an abortion mill. Houck says he shoved Love because Love was shouting profanities at his underage son.
Pro-lifers have shown an outpouring of support for Houck in the months following his arrest — including a GiveSendGo campaign that raised $400,000.
A piece in the Washington Examiner — published hours before the verdict was announced Monday — argued, "Men who want to see the end of abortion but need inspiration should look to Mark Houck."
Testifying before the court Friday, Houck told the prosecution he considers pro-life work "a spiritual battle."
Houck has maintained he shoved Love to protect his son. Criminal defense attorney Brian McMonagle told the court Friday, "This case is about a father's love for his child," adding, "Until you close your eyes for the last time, you will never love anything more than your own child."
Houck, a Catholic author and speaker, is cofounder and president of Catholic men's apostolate The King's Men.