A Philadelphia couple is crediting a pro-life advocate with helping to prevent them from aborting their child as the man faces potential prison time.
The Justice Department and the FBI have faced immense pushback over the raid on pro-life activist Mark Houck’s home two weeks ago. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced on Sept. 23 that it had arrested Houck on charges of allegedly violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which imposes federal charges on anyone who “intentionally injures, intimidates, or interferes with or attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person” aiding or performing abortions.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office claims that Houck, who resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, “twice assaulted a man" who's an abortion clinic escort at a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood clinic, resulting in injuries that required the escort to seek medical attention. However, a fundraiser set up for Houck’s family insists that the incident stems from the escort “harassing,” Houck's son, who was 12 at the time, as they prayed at the abortion clinic in October 2021.
When “they walked down the street away from the entrance to the building,” the escort followed them and “continued yelling at Mark’s son,” whereupon the pro-life activist “pushed him away,” the fundraiser explained.
As Houck faces the possibility of 11 years in prison, the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia published a YouTube video telling the story of a family whose lives were forever changed by Houck’s pro-life activism.
“When I first found out that I was pregnant, I just felt shame and guilt,” the woman in the video, identified as Jadda, recalled. Feeling that she “wasn’t ready” to have a baby, Jadda scheduled an abortion. She remembered feeling “sad, confused, overwhelmed” and “scared,” “shameful” and “disgusted” with herself.
Before she entered the abortion clinic, Jadda encountered Houck: “I had one hand on the door about to go into Planned Parenthood and then Mark stopped us and he was like, ‘You guys don’t have to do this.’” Jadda’s partner, Markeem, praised the way Houck reached out to them, saying he “really got through to us like literally before we walked into the doors.”
"He was really trying to get to know us on a deeper level than us just getting an abortion," Jada said while holding their baby named Nevaeh, which is Heaven spelled backward. "And
that’s another reason why [we were] real easy and quick to open up to him, because it wasn’t like a judgmental thing at all. He was really like digging deep.”
Markeem agreed, “Anybody can be a crutch but can’t nobody fix yours, and that’s what he did. He told us and made us feel like ‘We got this.’”
“He was right,” Markeem added. “He opened my eyes to a lot of stuff.”
Jadda said her daughter, who was born two months early, was “heaven sent, a gift straight from God Himself.”
“She’s been through a lot. She’s been a warrior since she came out of the womb two months early, 1 pound, 7 ounces strong. So, there’s definitely nothing but God in her.”
Markeem expressed gratitude that Houck came into their lives as “that extra push,” lamenting that “she wouldn’t be here, [and] we probably wouldn’t be together” otherwise. Jadda contended that without Houck’s influence, “We would have went through with it and I would have been living with regret.”
Maintaining that “pro-lifers definitely were there for us every step of the way,” they praised anti-abortion advocates as the “first support system” that they had.
The couple concluded the video by delivering a message to supporters of the Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia: “We don’t even know where we would be without you guys. From day one, you’ve been there beyond the support system, you guys are definitely like family.”
As for Houck, the fundraiser set up following his arrest has raised more than $367,000 as of Thursday afternoon, nearly two weeks after federal agents reportedly entered Houck’s home with “guns drawn and shields up in the faces of Mark, his wife, and their seven young children,” as characterized by the fundraiser. The pro-life activist was released from jail on $10,000 bond and must surrender his passport and firearms.
Houck is also prohibited from traveling outside the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where the legal proceedings against him are unfolding, and is prohibited from engaging in sidewalk counseling or prayer outside the Planned Parenthood clinic where the altercation with the clinic escort took place.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org