Alice Marie Pence was arrested last week in Florida on charges of making threats to kill Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a federal judge from Texas who, earlier this year, issued a nationwide ban on the use of mifepristone in chemical abortions.
According to a grand jury indictment, around March 12 the pro-choice activist made a threatening call from Florida to the chambers of a federal judge in Amarillo, Texas.
While the indictment did not explicitly name the judge, it is worth noting that the sole federal judge in Amarillo is U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk.
As reported by the Associated Press:
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 occurred in March, around the same time that Judge Kacsmaryk conducted a hearing on mifepristone, commonly known as the “abortion pill.”
During the hearing, Judge Kacsmaryk mentioned receiving death threats.
During a conference call with attorneys at the time, he 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.”
“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,” he continued.
“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,” he added.
Mifepristone, combined with misoprostol, a prostaglandin, is utilized to induce abortion.
Mifepristone works by blocking progesterone, resulting in the death of the unborn baby. Simultaneously, the second drug, misoprostol, triggers intense and painful uterine contractions to expel the dying fetus.