At seven in the morning, a large number of FBI agents—between 25 and 30—surrounded the property that he owned in rural Kintnersville, Pennsylvania. “After quickly surrounding the house with firearms in firing position, ‘they started beating on the door and hollering for us to open it'”
Houck eventually gave in and unlocked the door after begging the officers to settle down for the good of his seven kids, all of whom were there and sobbing at the time. According to the recollections of Ryan-Marie, “they had large weapons pointing at Mark and directed at me as well as pointed around the home.”
“Every single one of the children was wailing. Ryan-Marie shared with the pro-life news site that the whole experience was “just incredibly terrifying and upsetting.”
At first, the agents declined to provide a warrant for Mark’s arrest; however, when Ryan-Marie insisted on it, they handed over the “first page” of the warrant and informed her that they were going to take him to “the federal downtown building Philadelphia.” According to the National Legal Foundation, the Freedom for Access to Clinic Entrances Act was passed in 1994 to “squelch legitimate political protest activities.” The warrant said that Mark had assaulted a patient escort at an abortion clinic, which was a violation of the law.
According to Ryan-Marie, the charge originates from a case that was dismissed by the Philadelphia District Court before. The following is the context of the case: Mark volunteers his time each week to provide sidewalk counseling outside of several abortion clinics in the Philadelphia area. (Sidewalk counseling is law-abiding crisis assistance that occurs on public land outside abortion mills. It offers life-affirming alternatives to women who, in other circumstances, feel as if they have no other choices.)