WASHINGTON—Republican lawmakers on a House Judiciary subcommittee spent Tuesday morning highlighting President Joe Biden’s administration’s apparently selective use of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
During the “Revisiting the Implications of the FACE Act” hearing, the lawmakers brought forward Mark Houck as a witness. Houck is the father of seven children who was arrested by authorities in front of his children on FACE Act charges brought by the Department of Justice. A jury found him not guilty earlier this year.
“I was facing 11 years in prison and I had every prospect in my heart that I would be in federal prison, away from my seven children,” he shared. “Thankfully, we were acquitted, and I’m blessed to be able to share this story today.”
The only Democratic witness at Tuesday’s hearing was Talcott Camp, chief legal and strategy officer at the National Abortion Federation. Camp previously came under fire for remarks she allegedly made at at the National Abortion Federation convention in 2014 or 2015, recorded by pro-life activist David Daleiden.
“I’m like—oh my God! I get it,” she allegedly said, referring to crushing the skulls of unborn babies. “When the skull is broken, that’s really sharp! I get it! I understand why people are talking about getting that skull out, that calvarium.”
Republican Texas Rep. Chip Roy pressed Camp to explain her remarks on Tuesday, to which she claimed the videos were heavily edited and said it would be “impossible” for her to know if she made these comments. She also accused those who publicized the videos of her alleged remarks of stoking “a massive uptick in violence.”
“True or false,” Roy said. “Did you say that? ‘I’m like—oh my God! I get it. When the skull is broken, that’s really sharp!’ Did you say that?”
“It’s impossible to know, congressman,” she responded, adding later, “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know,” Roy repeated. “You don’t know if you talked about the crushing of the skull of a baby? You don’t remember having said something like that? I’m pretty confident I’ve never said something like that. I’m quite confident my colleagues here have never said something like that.”
Camp would not speak with The Daily Signal in person. The National Abortion Federation did not respond to requests for comment.
As of early May 16, there have been at least 87 attacks on pregnancy resource centers and 157 attacks on Catholic churches since the May 2022 Dobbs leak, according to CatholicVote trackers. Many of these buildings have been vandalized with threats such as, “If abortions aren’t safe, neither are you,” making the attacks incidents of suspected pro-abortion violence.
Pregnancy resource centers are typically run by pro-life women who seek to offer expectant mothers alternatives to abortion. Such centers provide diapers, baby clothes, and resources for both mothers and fathers, empowering them to care for their children, overcome addictions, build community, and find jobs.
The extremist group Jane’s Revenge has taken credit for many of these vandalisms and attacks.
And authorities have charged very few of these attacks under the FACE Act. Asked in late April how many pro-abortion attacks the DOJ is currently prosecuting under the FACE Act, spokeswoman Aryele Bradford pointed to only the four radical individuals charged in Florida.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division enforces the FACE Act, which “prohibits threats of force, obstruction and property damage intended to interfere with reproductive health care services.” The FACE Act has typically been used to prosecute those accused of attacking abortion clinics, but its language also protects pro-life organizations.
Meanwhile, in 2022 alone, the DOJ Civil Rights Division charged 26 pro-life individuals with FACE Act violations. One of these individuals was Houck.
Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan told Houck on Tuesday that he had been selected by federal authorities as an “example.”
You’re a pro-life, pro-family Catholic, for goodness sake. You got seven kids. You’re not allowed to have seven kids today, we are trying to save the planet! You can’t do that in America today. You were the example. That is how pervasive this political attitude is at the highest levels of our agencies. And in this case, it was the FBI, so much so, that they put together a memo and said, ‘We want to put informants and snitches inside the Catholic Church to go rat out people like Mark Houck and his family.’ You think that’s what’s going on here?
“I would agree with you 100% that my family was targeted,” Houck responded. “That I’ve been on a watchlist.”
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