Women arrested on charges that she threatened to kill a federal judge who earlier this year had issued a national injunction on the use of mifepristone in chemical abortions

By Dave Andrusko

Alice Marie Pence was arrested last week in Florida on charges that she threatened to kill Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Texas federal judge who earlier this year issued a national injunction on the use of mifepristone in chemical abortions. Reporting for Reuters, Brendan Pierson wrote

Alice Marie Pence placed a call from Florida to the chambers of a federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, federal court around March 12 and threatened to kill him, according to a grand jury indictment. Though he was not named in the indictment, the only federal judge in Amarillo is U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk.

The Associated Press reported that Pence

made her initial appearance in Fort Myers federal court after her arrest, according to court records. She faces charges of transmitting a threatening interstate communication and influencing a federal official by threat. Her next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22 in Dallas federal court.

The call took place in March, roughly the time Judge Kacsmaryk held a hearing regarding mifepristone, the “abortion pill.”  During the hearing he said he had received death threats. “He had been responding to criticism over not making the hearing public,” according to Cassy Fiano-Chesser .

During a conference call with attorneys at the time, Judge Kacsmaryk said, “To minimize some of the unnecessary death threats and voicemails and harassment that this division has received from the start of the case, we’re going to post that later in the day. So it may even be after business hours, but that will be publicly filed.”

He added, “Other elements of this case have brought a barrage of death threats and protesters and the rest. I don’t want that to disrupt your presentation to the court.” Judge Kacsmaryk further added, “This is not a gag order but just a request for courtesy given the death threats and harassing phone calls and voicemails that this division has received. We want a fluid hearing with all parties being heard. I think less advertisement of this hearing is better.”

Mifepristone is used in combination with misoprostol, a prostaglandin, to cause an abortion. Mifepristone blocks progesterone, leading to the death of the unborn baby, while the second drug, misoprostol, causes powerful, painful uterine contractions to expel the dead or dying baby.