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Senate Republicans Demand Answers From DOJ, FBI Over Raid on Pro-Life Activist’s Home

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are demanding the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI to provide an explanation for the “aggressive” raid on the home of a pro-life activist this week. 


Mark Houck, a 48-year-old father of seven and pro-life advocate was raided by the FBI at his home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on Sept. 23. Houck was arrested for alleged “FACE Act” violations as his wife and children watched in horror.

As Sarah noted, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act makes it a crime to use force or the threat of force to prevent individuals from obtaining abortion services. According to the warrant, Houck violated the FACE Act due to a claimed “attack on a clinic escort.” The case was previously tossed by a District Court in Philadelphia before Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland picked it up.

In a letter this week, a group of Senate Republicans pressed the DOJ on the dawn raid on Houck’s home. 

“More than two dozen federal agents, some using ballistics shields and long guns, arrived to arrest the pro-life advocate on Friday, September 23, for an incident that occurred nearly a year prior and for which local authorities dismissed all charges,” a press release from the Senate Judiciary Committe said. “The show-of-force raid by the FBI followed multiple overtures about cooperation by the advocate’s attorneys to the federal prosecutor’s office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which went unanswered over the course of weeks.”


The letter pointed out that Houck had cooperated with federal law enforcement prior to the raid, which included over 20 FBI agents who surrounded their home, wearing plated tactical vests and ballistic helmets and holding ballistic shields and long guns.

According to the letter, Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, stated that “[t]hey said they were going to break in if [my husband] didn't open [the door]. And then they had about five guns pointed at my husband, myself, and basically at my kids.”

The letter included an image of one of some FBI agents in front of the home.

“Based on reports and allegations, the actions taken by the FBI reasonably call into question whether they complied with DOJ's use of force policy. The FBI must explain their justification for their actions on September 23, 2022,” the letter said. 

According to Catholic News Agency, Houck, who founded the men’s spiritual group The King’s Men, faces the possibility of 11 years in prison if convicted of violating the FACE Act.

Reportedly, the federal indictment accuses Houck of assaulting a Planned Parenthood escort at a clinic outside Philadelphia in October 2021. His wife told CNA that he regularly prays, hands out literature and does sidewalk counseling outside the clinic. 

Brian Middleton, the family’s spokesperson, told CNA that Houck pushed the escort away from his son because he was verbally harassing the child. The man reportedly fell but was not seriously hurt. 


Brian Middleton, the family’s spokesperson, told CNA that Houck pushed the escort away from his son because he was verbally harassing the child. The man reportedly fell but was not seriously hurt.

GiveSendGo fundraiser for the family has raised over $330,000. 

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