Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The DOJ and FBI only arrest pro-life advocates

By William Haupt III | The Center Square Contributor

"Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals." – George Washington

The city of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, is in the buckle of the Bible Belt about a half hour from Nashville's famed Music City Row. Home to many country music stars, as well as former country legends such as Johnny Cash and Charlie Daniels, this town of 40,000 is recognized for its gourmet restaurants, fashionable boutiques and trend-setting novelty shops in Providence Market Place. With a church on every corner, the town does not wake up on Sunday until church services are over after noon.

According to a Pew Research survey on the most religious states in America, 81% of all adults in Tennessee are devout Christians who identify with one specific church. Another 14% admit being Christians but are unaffiliated with any specific religion. About 3% are of a non-Christian faith. Only 2% are nontheological. Over two thirds of all people in Tennessee attend church services regularly.

For over a year, residents of this jewel of the Bible Belt have conducted a peaceful sidewalk vigil outside the Carafem abortion clinic, praying and handing out anti-abortion material. They've been showing disdain for a facility they did not want in their Christian community. This abortion clinic was forced upon them by a federal judge after the city passed emergency legislation to keep it out.

When Carafem filed for a business license in 2019 and the city learned this was an abortion clinic, amidst outrage from residents, the city counsel rezoned the area to prevent them from performing abortions. With the help of ACLU attorney Andrew Beck, Carafem won the legal battle to remain there.

“If a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me?" – Mother Teresa

In March of 2021, a pro-life group visited the Carafem abortion clinic in Mt. Juliet. The group came there to reach out to women seeking abortions to try and persuade them to choose life for the unborn. This group lined the walkways outside the abortion clinic praying for the unborn. Several protesters were arrested for misdemeanor trespassing by Mt. Juliet police, scolded, then released.

Although this took place over a year ago, due to the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, and outrage by abortion supporters, Biden is sending the FBI and DOJ after pro-life protesters. A U.S. District Court ruling last week claimed that this group violated the FACE Act and has issued warrants for their arrest.

Eleven warrants have been issued for these peaceful protesters. The DOJ alleges that Chester Gallagher utilized social media to promote a series of anti-abortion events in the Nashville area. They contend Gallagher organized the Carafem event and protesters used intimidation and force to block Carafem's entry, which prevented one patient and one employee from entering the clinic.

Seven of the defendants who participated in this peaceful protest face conspiracy charges under the FACE Act, with a maximum penalty of 11 years in prison and fines of up to $350,000. The four defendants, charged with misdemeanors, could face up to one year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Passed in 1994, the FACE Act allows the arrest, fining and jailing of anyone who intimidates or tries to interfere with a person obtaining or providing reproductive healthcare services.

"I have instructed the FBI and the DOJ to arrest anyone who inhibits anyone from getting an abortion." – President Joe Biden

Randall Terry, founder of the pro-life organization Operation Rescue, told reporters, "In the past pro-life protesters who blocked entrances to abortion clinics only faced local trespassing charges instead of federal charges. But this has completely changed since Roe vs. Wade was overturned."

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said, "Biden's abuse of the DOJ shows Democrats will do anything to protect an industry that spends millions to elect them. Biden's DOJ is demonizing pro-life advocates and turning a blind eye to violence against them."

“I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born." – Ronald Reagan

Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, pregnancy centers have been firebombed and pro life organizers have been beaten, attacked, shot and even killed. And the pro-life advocates' calls for equal protection have been ignored by Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the FBI and the DOJ.

"Our country has a history of claiming ownership over human bodies." – Kamala Harris

Less than a month ago, the DOJ announced it had arrested pro-life activist Mark Houck at his home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Houck's indictment accused him of assaulting a man who was "a volunteer abortion clinic escort" outside of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia.

Houck's attorney explained that he was peacefully praying outside the Philadelphia clinic when the escort began to harass his son. Mark and his son walked down the street to avoid confrontation but the escort went after them. When the escort got in the face of Mark's son, he just pushed him away.

Now Houck faces a possible $350,000 fine and 11 years is prison for a violation of the FACE act.

This is from the DOJ website: "The FACE Act is not about abortions. The law protects all patients, providers, and facilities that provide reproductive health services. This includes pro-life pregnancy counseling services and any other pregnancy support facility providing reproductive health care.”

If this is the letter of the law, why are the FBI, the DOJ, Kamala Harris and even Joe Biden ignoring the bombing, acts of violence, and the harassing of pregnancy support centers? Why are they only prosecuting pro-life protesters under the FACE Act while most are peacefully protesting?

According to the U.S. Finance Commission, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Population Connection Center for Reproductive Rights, Washington Women for Choice, New York Choice PAC, and the Boulder Abortion Clinic gave Democrats $5,042,623 last election. The total given to Republicans was $0. This explains the Democrats double standard with the FACE Act.

Aristotle told us, "No man is above or below the law." With growing violence towards reproductive health centers, in 1994 Congress enacted the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, (FACE) which prohibits violent or threatening conduct against those obtaining reproductive health services. This is not only for abortion clinics but pregnancy centers too. Yet the left only protects abortion supporters!

This is politics at its very worst. Biden and his administration are openly enforcing the FACE Act against pro-life protesters while they watch pregnancy centers burn to the ground and their patients assaulted by abortion advocates. To the left, Lady Justice is no longer blind. With the midterms underway, voters must elect candidates that will guarantee all Americans have access to equal justice.

"Government exists not only to make rules; but to ensure justice. If a government fails to provide equal justice under the law, it must be replaced by one that does." – James Madison



Wife of pro-life activist Mark Houck speaks out after FBI arrest

The wife of the Catholic pro-life activist who was arrested in front of their children by dozens of heavily armed federal agents told Fox News on Wednesday that the “devastating” raid has left their family traumatized and in need of counseling.

Mark Houck, an outspoken pro-life activist and author from Pennsylvania, was arrested in front of his wife and seven children at his rural Kintnersville home in Bucks County after dozens of FBI agents showed up on his lawn and began pounding on their front door. In an exclusive interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Houck’s wife, Ryan-Marie, recounted the moment she looked out her front window to find roughly 25 uniformed agents with guns and shields surrounding her front door.

“My entire front yard, you could barely see it, it was covered with at least 15 big trucks and cars,” the mother of seven said. “There were 20, 25, 30, men, women, completely in jackets with shields and helmets and guns. They were behind cars. It was something I would never expect to see on my front lawn.”

Ryan-Marie said the agents raided their home with “guns drawn,” on her family, describing in an earlier interview how they put her husband in “shackles” while her children watched in fear.

“It was devastating,” she told host Tucker Carlson. “As you can imagine, it’s hard to even express the victimization and how traumatized we all are due to this unnecessary thing that happened to us.”

Ryan-Marie said her children have been “crying” and are afraid to sleep alone since her husband’s arrest.

“The older ones, we can talk, we can cry. We’ve had some counseling, we have more counseling to do,” she told Tucker Carlson. “And the little ones, they’re scared. There’s a lot of crying and a lot of unrestful sleep. A lot of kids in our bed at night and in the morning.”

The raid and subsequent arrest reportedly stemmed from an altercation Houck, 48, had with a Planned Parenthood escort in Philadelphia in October 2021, when he was accused of pushing a 72-year-old man outside the clinic after the escort allegedly verbally harassed Houck’s 12-year-old son. The pro-life father, who routinely engages in prayerful protests outside abortion clinics, is co-founder and president of The King’s Men, a Catholic ministry that aims to spiritually mentor young men.

The Philadelphia Police Department confirmed to Fox News Digital that officers responded to the Planned Parenthood on the afternoon of October 13 last year, but that no charges were filed against Houck, and he was not arrested. The Philadelphia district attorney also declined to prosecute Houck over the incident.

But for reasons unknown, Houck’s case caught the attention of the Justice Department. In May, he received a “target letter” from the DOJ telling him he was being investigated by a grand jury for violating the Freedom of Access Clinic Entrances Act, or FACE Act, which makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate and interfere with anyone because that person provides reproductive health care.

Houck’s attorney and senior counsel at the Thomas More Society, Peter Breen, condemned the arrest as an abuse of power from President Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) during the “Tucker Carlson Tonight” interview, where he accused the department of trying to intimidate pro-life Americans.

“This was not a federal crime. We have controlling case law on that, strong defenses, but instead, they’ve taken an innocent man and made an example out of him, presumably to send a message to pro-life people and people of faith across this country,” he said.

After the Philadelphia district attorney declined to prosecute Houck over the incident, Breen said the man involved brought a private criminal complaint against Houck. However, that man never showed up to his own court hearings that he initiated. Houck’s lawyer said they have considered taking legal action for abuse of process.

“This was reckless and outrageous,” Breen told Carlson. “It put the Houck family in unnecessary danger. We’ve offered to bring him in. Didn’t get a response. Even if you’re going to arrest a regular person, you just send a couple of agents, they knock on the door, not dragging the head of the family out, violating the sanctity of the home, pointing guns at them. This was outrageous and uncalled for.”

Breen said Thomas More Society has retained some of the best legal talent in Philadelphia to assist in the case.

“If we can push back against the Justice Department here, we can get them to stop and not do this to someone else,” he said.

Houck pleaded not guilty to two counts associated with the charges against him related to the alleged assault of the escort.