Woman charged with threatening federal judge in abortion pill case arrested in Florida


FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A woman accused of threatening to kill a federal judge in Texas who suspended approval of the abortion drug mifepristone earlier this year was arrested Wednesday in Florida, court records.

Alice Marie 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.

Court records didn’t list an attorney for Pence.

According to an indictment, Pence called the chambers of a federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, in March and threatened to kill him. The indictment doesn’t name the judge, but the only federal judge in Amarillo is U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk.

In April, Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, ordered a hold on federal approval of mifepristone in a decision that overruled decades of scientific approval. The ruling came nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and curtailed access to abortion across the country. President Joe Biden’s administration is fighting the Texas ruling.

Mifepristone is one of two pills used in medication abortions. The other drug, misoprostol, is also used to treat other medical conditions. Health care providers have said they could switch to misoprostol if mifepristone is no longer available or is too hard to obtain. Misoprostol is somewhat less effective in ending pregnancies.

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