The attorneys for Mark Houck, the pro-life family man facing federal charges for a minor altercation he had with a pro-abortion escort outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood, have released what they consider to be “bombshell evidence in Biden DOJ’s persecution” of their client.
During a Jan. 17 pretrial hearing, Thomas More Society attorneys representing Houck presented evidence that “when the United States Congress passed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act [in 1993], it expressly intended to exclude so-called ‘escorts’ operating outside of abortion facilities from being encompassed by the FACE Act,” a statement from the society says.
The Thomas More Society attorneys’ filing includes a 1993 exchange between Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Senator David Durenberger (R-MN), over a bipartisan amendment they negotiated to strip clinic escorts of the right to bring lawsuits under the FACE Act. In that now three-decade old exchange, Durenberger asks Kennedy if clinic escorts or “so-called clinic defenders” are excluded from the FACE Act’s definition of “aggrieved person.”
“That is correct,” Kennedy said. “Demonstrators, clinic defenders, escorts, and other persons not involved in obtaining or providing services in the facility may not bring such a cause of action.”
Thomas More Society Executive Vice President & Head of Litigation Peter Breen, who is representing Houck, said the FACE Act “was never intended to cover disputes between advocates on the public sidewalks outside of our nation’s abortion clinics.”
“This new evidence shows clearly that Congress intended to limit the FACE Act to patients and staff working in the clinic, and not to take sides between pro-life and pro-choice counselors and escorts on the sidewalk,” Breen said. “The Biden Department of Justice’s prosecution of Mark Houck is pure harassment, meant solely to intimidate our nation’s pro-life sidewalk counselors who provide vital resources to help pregnant women at risk for abortion.”
Houck’s jury trial is set for Jan. 24 through Jan. 27 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.