A Texas man is suing three women for assisting his now-ex-wife in obtaining abortion drugs last year, just one month after Roe v Wade was overturned.
According to the lawsuit, “a person who assists a pregnant woman in obtaining a self-managed abortion has committed the crime of murder” under Texas law.
The lawsuit relies heavily on text messages exchanged between his ex-wife and the three women.
Marcus Silva is seeking $1 million in damages.
His ex-friends wife’s allegedly texted her about Aid Access, an international organization that sends abortion medication by mail.
Mr Silva’s ex-wife was concerned that if he found out about the pregnancy, he would try to force her to stay with him, according to text messages.
According to the lawsuit, one of the women delivered the medication to Mr Silva’s ex-wife.
According to the lawsuit, once the pills are identified, the manufacturer will be named as a defendant as well.
The women are also accused of conspiring to conceal the pregnancy and text messages from Mr Silva’s ex-wife, according to the lawsuit.
Texas is being sued by five women over abortion access.
The ‘ranch’ for mothers who have nowhere else to go
Mr Silva’s ex-wife is not named as a defendant because, under Texas law, a pregnant woman is immune from prosecution.
According to the lawsuit, they have two daughters together.
She filed for divorce in May 2022, and it was finalized in February 2023. According to the lawsuit, she discovered she was pregnant in July 2022, after Roe v Wade was overturned but a month before the state’s trigger law prohibiting abortion went into effect, making providing an abortion a felony punishable by up to life in prison unless done to save the mother’s life.
Even before the trigger ban, the state imposed a number of other restrictions on abortion.
Texas passed legislation in 2021 making most abortions illegal after six weeks of pregnancy. It gave citizens the right to sue anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion”. When Roe v Wade was overturned, a pre-Civil War abortion ban was still in effect.
Mr. Silva is represented by Republican state Rep. Briscoe Cain and Jonathan Mitchell, a former solicitor general who helped draft one of Texas’ abortion bans.
The defendants did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Five women sued the state of Texas last week for limited abortion access when they faced life-threatening health risks. According to their lawsuit, doctors are refusing to perform the procedure even in extreme cases for fear of being prosecuted.
Another lawsuit, which targets the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval process for the abortion medication mifepristone, is also expected to be heard soon by a Texas judge. If the judge overturns the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, the drug’s availability could be affected nationwide.