Three women in Texas have been sued for wrongful death over allegations that they helped a friend obtain abortion pills to receive an abortion, the first case of its kind since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June.
A complaint filed Thursday states that Marcus Silva alleges three women helped his ex-wife obtain abortion pills to have an abortion, which he states violates Texas law prohibiting someone from helping a pregnant woman obtain an abortion themselves.
The complaint states that two of the women helped Silva’s ex-wife receive an abortion through illegally obtained abortion pills in July 2022. It alleges they received the pills from a third woman, who is also being sued for wrongful death.
Silva, who was the father of the unborn fetus, also filed a charge of conspiracy against the women, alleging that they told his ex-wife to not tell him about their actions.
The case comes as the Food and Drug Administration is battling a lawsuit from a conservative Texas group arguing that an abortion pill should not be allowed for national distribution.
The complaint states Silva’s ex-wife became pregnant in July 2022, but she did not tell him about it. They divorced last month.
The Texas Tribune reported that the ex-wife filed for divorce in May 2022, two months before becoming pregnant, and the couple have two daughters together.
The lawsuit includes screenshots from a group chat that the ex-wife had with her two friends, showing that they said Silva would “snake his way into your head,” the Tribune reported.
“Delete all conversations from today. You don’t want him looking through it,” one of the women allegedly told her at one point.
The Tribune reported that the state of abortion law in Texas in July 2022 was uncertain, as the state’s trigger law did not go into effect until August. That law means someone who performs an abortion can face life in prison.
But Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and other Texas politicians have said laws that were passed before Roe was handed down in 1973 immediately made abortions illegal in the state once Roe was overturned.
A law from the 1850s made it illegal for anyone who performs an abortion or “furnishes the means” for one and allowed for them to face a prison sentence of up to five years.
The Tribune reported that Silva is requesting $1 million in damages and for an injunction to prevent the women from providing abortion pills in Texas. His attorneys, former Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell and state Rep. Briscoe Cain (R), told the outlet that they plan to name the manufacturer of the pills in the lawsuit once they learn the name.
Mitchell was involved in crafting the Texas law that banned abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, the Tribune reported.