Catholic father and pro-life activist Mark Houck, cleared of the Justice Department’s charges against him, returned Thursday to pray at a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood. This time, he brought his whole family.
“We went because this is what we do,” Houck told The Daily Signal on Thursday morning. “It’s our mission to stand up for women, men, and the pre-born child.”
“I will be there every week, God willing,” he added.
All seven of Houck’s children—Mark Jr., Eva, Kathryn, Therese, Joshua, Augustine, and Imelda—and his wife went with him to pray at the Planned Parenthood (The Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center).
A photo of the family provided to The Daily Signal shows five of the children saying the rosary lined up against the wall outside the abortion facility.
Houck said that there were about 40 pro-lifers gathered outside the clinic praying in “a rally of sorts.” He described his children as “joyful” and “excited” for him to have the freedom to pray at the abortion facility again.
As the group was praying, “many women” went into the Planned Parenthood, Houck shared. Google reviews of this particular Planned Parenthood location include complaints from purported patients about the staff and organization.
“I felt uncomfortable with the way he asked questions about my history,” one woman said of a Planned Parenthood medical assistant, adding that “he more or less asked if I knew whether or not my partner was sleeping with other people and then in regards to past pregnancies asked if they were ‘alive or not.’”
Many of the reviews include complaints that patients were unable to contact the clinic.
“I have an appointment coming up [and] I’ve been calling since Thursday trying to get a hold of someone,” one woman said. “My appointment is tomorrow and I have not spoken with a doctor yet.”
“She made me feel awful,” another purported patient said of a Planned Parenthood staffer. “At the end she told me to follow her and left the door open while I was still exposed and on the table. I am a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood and have [been] contributing to their political campaigns for over 10 years but I would NEVER go here again.”
Another woman wrote: “I left feeling discouraged, frustrated, and without options, and can only imagine how that would have affected someone trying to empower themselves in their healthcare decisions and for whom PP may be the only option.”
Two years ago, another woman wrote: “Got an abortion here and the abortion was incomplete.” She added that she felt “bloated gassy and nauseous for several days after my procedure” and “went to the ER only to find out that I’m still pregnant.”
Saying she was “very traumatized and heart broken,” the woman continued that she had “paid a lot of money for a completed procedure [and] now they want to give me the pill which I’ve heard horror stories about!”
Houck’s family awoke on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, to FBI agents banging on the door, guns drawn.
The Houck children shared with The Daily Signal that they were terrified and uncertain when they would see their father again. Houck and his attorneys believe that President Joe Biden’s DOJ sought to make an example of him for his pro-life activism as a response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
A jury cleared the father of seven of the DOJ charges last week, finding him not guilty on two counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act when, outside a Pennsylvania abortion clinic, Houck pushed a pro-abortion activist who was antagonizing his son. Local authorities had previously dismissed the incident.
Houck refused to take a government plea deal and pled not guilty to the federal charges. His legal team argued that the Justice Department was violating the Constitution by engaging in “viewpoint discrimination” and “selective prosecution” against Houck, violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment’s protection for the free exercise of religion.
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