An anti-abortion protester was arrested in Pennsylvania on Friday and hit with federal charges after he allegedly shoved an elderly Planned Parenthood volunteer to the ground last October. Photo courtesy of Google Maps
Sept. 24 (UPI) -- An anti-abortion protester was arrested in Pennsylvania on Friday and hit with federal charges after he allegedly shoved an elderly Planned Parenthood volunteer to the ground last October.
Mark Houck, 48, of Kintnersville was charged with two counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, the U.S. Justice Department said in a news release.
The law makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate or interfere with anyone who is a provider of reproductive health care.
In an indictment obtained by Daily Beast, a grand jury said that there was enough evidence to charge Houck after he allegedly shoved another 72-year-old man identified in the court documents as B.L. on October 13, 2021 outside of Planned Parenthood health center in Philadelphia.
"Houck shoved B.L. to the ground as B.L. attempted to escort two [Planned Parenthood] patients," the indictment reads.
B.L. has volunteered with Planned Parenthood as an escort for around 30 years and prosecutors said Houck knew Planned Parenthood volunteers, including B.L.
If convicted, Houck faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $350,000.
An Arizona judge on Friday ruled that an 1864 territorial law banning abortions should be reinstated, just a day before a new ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy was to take effect.
The controversial law was adopted by the first legislature after Arizona became a United States territory in 1863. Arizona became a state in 1912 and the law remains codified as ARS 13-3603.