A Texas man Friday sued three women who allegedly aided his ex-wife by providing her with “illegally obtained abortion pills” without his knowledge. Marcus Silva’s petition states that under Texas’ murder and wrongful-death statutes, a self-managed abortion is the crime of murder, and the three women can be sued for wrongful death. Silva is represented by the former Solicitor General of Texas, Jonathan F. Mitchell, who pushed for the Texas Heartbeat Act, which allows private citizens to sue individuals and groups who provide abortions after the fetus’ heartbeat has been detected.
The wrongful-death statute details how living parents can sue anyone who causes the death of an unborn child by wrongful act, neglect, default or carelessness. According to the petition, the abortion of the unborn child occurred after Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and the mother’s life was not at risk. Therefore, the court does not have any license to put aside Texas’ abortion laws.
Furthermore, according to Silva, all the defendants knew they were aiding in a murder and had the mens rea (guilty mind) needed to trigger the application of both statutes. Silva is demanding nominal, compensatory and punitive damages amounting to $1 million. Also, he is seeking an injunction against the defendants, which prohibits them from distributing abortion pills or aiding self-managed abortions in Texas.
This case highlights various controversial parts of Texas abortion laws as well as issues arising from the recent overturning of Roe v Wade. Planned Parenthood has criticized the lawsuit stating that they are “furious but not surprised.”