WASHINGTON—The Daily Signal, the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation, today released a documentary that details the harrowing story of pro-life activist Mark Houck’s arrest after FBI agents raided his home last fall. In the documentary, members of the Houck family tell the story of the raid for the first time ever on camera, detailing the traumatizing ordeal and the political motivations behind it.
The Department of Justice charged Houck with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. Those charges stemmed from a 2021 incident when an abortion clinic volunteer repeatedly harassed Mark’s son and Mark, acting on his fatherly instincts, pushed the volunteer. Local authorities ultimately dismissed the matter—until the Biden DOJ re-upped it in response to the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
Early in the morning of Sept. 23, 2022, the Houck family was startled awake by banging on the front door and the doorbell ringing. Answering the door, Mark came face-to-face with about 15 FBI agents on his property.
“As soon as I start coming down the stairs, then a gun is pointed at me,” said Ryan-Marie, Mark’s wife and mother of seven, in the video.
Mark’s children also recalled the terror they felt when they awoke.
“I woke up and the girls were outside the door crying. And I asked them what was wrong, and they didn’t answer, and I looked down the stairs and I saw guns pointing at Mommy and Daddy,” 9-year-old Joshua said.
“I was shaking,” Ryan-Marie said. “I didn’t even know why they were there to arrest him.”
“We were definitely targeted,” she added.
After arriving at the station, Mark said authorities chained him to a table for six hours in a small room, and at this point, he “fully entered into the peace of Christ.”
“I was at the foot of Calvary,” he said. “I was there with Jesus. I was totally consoled.”
Mark’s descriptions of the ordeal generally dwelt lightly on how he was treated, often focusing on his interactions with the authorities. But he strongly emphasized that when he was brought to the U.S. Marshals, he was “treated like a dog” and “a convicted criminal.”
“It was an act of pure terror on the part of the government. Intimidate me, and instill fear in my family and me, and in the pro-life America,” he said.
Mike Howell, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, noted this is par for the course with the Biden administration’s weaponized DOJ.
“The fact that they raided this patriot’s home with guns drawn and put him through a costly legal process shows how willing our own government is to terrorize those they politically disagree with,” Howell said.
On Jan. 30, 2023, a jury acquitted Mark of all charges and just over a month later, he and his family returned to the abortion clinic to pray.
“I think they underestimated the pro-life movement, and they certainly underestimated me and my wife and my children. President Biden and [Attorney General] Merrick Garland and director of the FBI ... there’s going to be consequences to the choices they made,” said Mark.
Watch the full documentary here.