November 15, 2023

Woman Charged with Threatening to Kill Federal Judge Who Ruled Against FDA Abortion Pill Approval

On November 8, a Florida woman named Alice Marie Pence was arrested on charges that she threatened to kill U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a federal judge in Texas who issued an injunction suspending the FDA's approval of the abortion drug mifepristone.

Since Kacsmaryk's ruling in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration the injunction was suspended pending Supreme Court review. Pro-life physicians and advocates argued that the FDA did not follow the proper procedures when approving mifepristone in 2000. The FDA failed to respond to the official complaint process and stonewalled physicians for over 20 years; finally culminating in this lawsuit.

Pence's alleged death threat against Kacsmaryk was made shortly after hearings in the case were scheduled, but before any rulings were issued. She is charged with threatening interstate communication and influencing a federal officer by threat. She is scheduled to make an initial appearance before a judge on November 22, 2023.

Though Judge Kacsmaryk is not named in the DOJ's indictment, he is the only federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, where Pence made the threatening phone call.