Oct. 12, 2022 CBN News Dan Andros
Last week, the U.S. Justice Department indicted 11 more pro-life activists after alleging they “blocked access” to an abortion clinic in Tennessee as part of a protest last spring.
Video footage that recently surfaced on social media shows multiple heavily armed agents purportedly hauling away Paul Vaughn, a 55-year-old man charged in relation to the protests. In the video, a woman can be heard pleading with the agents to answer her questions, which included a query about why the agents were “banging on my door with a gun.”
“You’re not going to tell me anything?” the woman asks as the agents head back to their vehicles. One agent replies, “No, we’re not,” while another says, “I tried.” The woman also asks for an agent’s name or “any information” but they ignored her and left the scene.
***In This Era of CENSORSHIP and CANCEL CULTURE, Please sign up for CBN Newsletters to keep receiving the latest news you need.***
Vaugh was reportedly part of a group of 11 pro-life activists who, according to an indictment, blocked access to a Tennessee abortion clinic as part of a protest in early March 2021. Why charges and arrests are being made now, over 18 months later, remains unanswered. Many, however, are pointing out the November mid-term elections are only a month away.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast.
The ages of those charged in Tennessee range from 24 to 87 years old and all are charged with FACE Act violations. Some could be facing up to 11 years in prison.
Just last month, a 48-year-old Pennsylvania man was raided by 15-20 heavily armed FBI agents while his terrified wife and seven children watched on in horror.
Mark Houck, the Pennsylvania native, is also facing FACE Act violations, which stem from an incident that happened last year in Philadelphia. Houck maintains he was defending his 12-year-old son when he pushed a Planned Parenthood volunteer, who fell down and suffered only a “minor” scrape on his arm, according to authorities. No evidence has been presented showing Houck, at any time, prevented an employee or patient from accessing the facility.
This all comes as the FBI has yet to announce any arrests made on the more than 60 violent attacks on crisis pregnancy centers that have happened since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade back in June.
Prominent pro-lifers have expressed concern the Biden administration is abusing the power of the federal government for political reasons ahead of a critical election.
Back Story on Mark Houck Raid: Home of Pennsylvania Pro-Life Activist Raided by 15-20 Heavily Armed FBI Agents
The FBI used a major show of force to arrest pro-life Christian Mark Houck, 48, with dozens of agents reportedly descending on his home with guns drawn as Houck’s wife and children looked on in horror.
Early Friday morning (9/23) the FBI arrived at the Houck’s residence in Bucks County, PA and began pounding on the door. Despite putting his hands up and willingly cooperating, multiple agents pointed guns in Mark’s face as his family – including his seven children – were forced to watch their dad “shackled” and taken away, according to family representative Brian Middleton, who spoke with CBN’s Faithwire.
Houck’s wife Ryan-Marie described the shocking scene to LifeSiteNews, saying her husband was pleading with agents. “‘Please, I’m going to open the door, but, please, my children are in the home. I have seven babies in the house.’ But they just kept pounding and screaming.” She added that they “had big, huge rifles pointed at Mark and pointed at me and kind of pointed throughout the house.”
“This show of force carried out by the Biden regime against ordinary Americans is an abuse of power that stands against the fundamental principles on which our country was founded,” Pennsylvania State Senator and Republican nominee for Governor Doug Mastriano said in a statement.
This massive display by the FBI – Houck claims 25-30 heavily armed agents were used to haul him in – raises serious questions as to why so much force was deemed necessary. The FBI raid stems from a minor altercation back in October 2021 with a volunteer at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Philadelphia. Police were called, but declined to pursue the case because of lack of evidence.
The volunteer, 72-year-old Bruce Love (who is identified only as “B.L.” on the indictment), is familiar with Houck, as the two have crossed paths at the Philadelphia abortion clinic many times previously.
The indictment against Houck claims he “assaulted” Love only “because Love was a volunteer at the abortion clinic”. According to Houck’s family representative, that’s not what happened.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***
Houck was at the abortion clinic praying and ministering within his legal rights (on the sidewalk, not clinic property) when, according to Middleton, it was Love who approached Houck’s 12-year-old son and began unleashing a string of vile comments, cursing the young man. That’s when Houck intervened, and eventually pushed Love in order to protect his son, causing Love to fall to the ground. That’s when police were called and eventually decided there was a “lack of evidence” of an assault taking place and declined to pursue the issue any further.
Love then filed a criminal complaint against Houck, but failed to show up to any of the court hearings, prompting the judge to dismiss the case.
Six days after the case was dismissed, Houck received a target letter from the DOJ notifying him he was the subject of a federal grand jury investigation. According to Middleton, Houck and his attorneys promptly replied to this notice, but never heard back from the government – until Friday morning when the FBI began pounding on their door.
“They were absolutely compliant, and there was no reception to their compliance,” Middleton said.
In a press release from the DOJ, they claim Houck violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act:
“Assault is always a serious offense, and under the FACE Act, if the victim is targeted because of their association with a reproductive healthcare clinic, it is a federal crime,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Our Office and the Department of Justice are committed to prosecuting crimes which threaten the safety and rights of all individuals.”
The DOJ seems less eager to punish those responsible for the wave of recent assaults against pro-life pregnancy centers, with no FBI arrests being made despite 60-plus attacks on crisis pregnancy centers.
CBN’s Faithwire has reached out to the FBI for comment, but they have yet to respond. We will update this article with any response they provide.
There is a GiveSendGo fundraiser for the family and it has raised $358,000.
Did you know?
God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.