In one of the first major legal tests of laws cracking down on abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned, a Texas man filed a lawsuit against three women claiming they illegally assisted his ex-wife in her abortion.
Marcus Silva argued in his wrongful death lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in Galveston County, that the three women were liable in the death of his unborn child after allegedly helping his then-wife terminate her pregnancy with medication.
“Under the law of Texas, a person who assists a pregnant woman in obtaining a self-managed abortion has committed the crime of murder and can be sued for wrongful death,” the lawsuit argues. A pregnant woman who receives an abortion is not liable under state law, and Silva’s ex-wife is not named as a defendant in the case.
The lawsuit states that Silva’s then-wife discovered she was pregnant in July 2022 after the passage of Texas Senate Bill 8, which made most abortions illegal after approximately six weeks of pregnancy. The law also allows for private citizens to file civil suits against abortion providers or anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion. The couple divorced in February 2023 and Silva says he was the father of the fetus, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit includes alleged text messages between Silva’s ex-wife and two of the defendants that appear to show them discussing obtaining pills to terminate the pregnancy, as well as disposing of the pregnancy test to hide the results from Silva. The third defendant is accused of helping to get the pills to Silva’s ex-wife, according to the lawsuit.
It was not clear Friday night if the defendants had been served with the lawsuit, nor if they had attorneys. The suit states that Silva also intends to sue the medications’ manufacturer to discover what pills his ex-wife used.
Silva is represented in court by Briscoe Cain, a practicing attorney and a Republican serving in the Texas state House, and Jonathan Mitchell, a former state Solicitor General who has been credited as one of the architects of Senate Bill 8.
Silva is asking the court for damages exceeding $1,000,000. A status conference in the case is set for June.