FBI SWAT team raids and arrests pro-life activist at Pensylvania home

Photo:Ralf-Finn Hestoft/Corbis/Getty Images

Well-known pro-life author and sidewalk counselor was arrested in front of his children after the Department of Justice ordered a SWAT raid on his house for alleged violations of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.

A group between 25 and 30 heavily-armed FBI agents raided the Bucks County, Pennsylvania, home of Catholic leader, pro-life author and activist Mark Houck, early Friday morning.

His family stated that the arrest seemed to stem from a court case that was dismissed by a federal court in Philadelphia, where Houck allegedly shoved an abortion ativist. Somehow the case was picked up by the Department of Justice, and led to his arrest.

According to his wife, Houck was providing sidewalk counseling at abortion centers in Philadelphia last year, and had taken his then 12-year-old son. On multiple occasions over weeks, an abortion activist allegedly shouted vulgarities and insults at the boy. After the protester repeatedly encroached on the boy’s personal space, Houck shoved the man away, causing him to fall down. The protester was not injured, but tried to sue Houck.

The lawsuit against Houck was thrown out this summer, but it was somehow picked up by the DOJ, Ryan-Marie Houck said.

The warrant stated that Houck’s arrest stems from an indictment on charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994, specifically for “attack[ing] a patient escort.”

Ryan-Marie Houck recalled the group of agents in SWAT gear arriving in 15 vehicles outside the family home at around 7:05 am, surrounding the house and pounding the door. Houck reportedly tried to get the agents to calm down, noting that his seven children were scared. The agents continued to yell, and when the door was opened, they pointed their guns at the Houcks while instructing the children to go upstairs, according to Ryan-Marie. “The kids were all just screaming. It was all just very scary and traumatic,” she said.

Following the FBI raid on the former president's estate, conservative leaders slammed the FBI raid as another example of the political weaponization of the FBI.