On Wednesday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) asked Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland about Mike Houck. Lee explained: “He’s a pro-life activist and father of seven in Philadelphia. Based on the fact that he had pushed a protestor, or a Planned Parenthood escort as he was demonstrating outside an area in the Philadelphia region.
“He pushed this person after this person got in the face of his 12-year-old son and was yelling vile, insulting, demeaning implicitly threatening things. Denigrating his father, denigrating his faith, and yelling vile, sexually suggestive things to his 12-year-old son. So, he shoved him, then, before he knew it, Mr. Howe was facing FACE Act prosecution, a highly militarized group of DOJ law enforcement showed up at 7 am on Friday morning to enforce a warrant, and as Houck’s wife put it, ‘a SWAT team of about 25 came to my house with about 15 vehicles and started pounding on the door and had about five guns pointed at myself, my husband, and basically my kids.’
“This concerns me,” Lee continued. “Mr. Houck ended up facing these charges and not surprisingly, the jury acquitted him of that. I’m wondering, it doesn’t seem justifiable to me to have that overwhelming show of force or conduct like that. In the meantime, in 2022 and for the first couple of months of 2023, DOJ announced charges against 34 individuals for ‘blocking access to, or vandalizing abortion clinics.’ There have been over 81 reported attacks on pregnancy centers, 130 attacks on Catholic churches since the leak of the Dobbs decision, and only 2 individuals have been charged. How do you explain this disparity by reference to anything other than the politicization of what’s happening there?”
Garland responded, “The FACE act applies equally to efforts to damage, blockade, clinics … whether they are pregnancy resource centers, or whether they are an abortion center. It applies equally in both cases and we apply the law equally.”
He continued: “I will say that you’re quite right, there are many more prosecutions in respect to the blocking of the abortion centers, but that is generally because those actions are taken with photography at the time, during the daylight, and seeing the person who did it is quite easy.
“Those who are attacking the pregnancy resources centers, which is a horrid thing to do, are doing this at night in the dark. We have put full resources into this. We have put rewards out for this. The Justice Department and the FBI have made outreach to Catholic and other organizations to ask for their help in identifying the people who are doing this. We will prosecute every case against pregnancy resource centers that we can make, but these people who are doing this are clever and are doing it in secret and I’m convinced that the FBI is trying to find them with urgency.”