Texas women sue for wrongful death after assisted abortion

AUSTIN, Texas – Three women in Texas have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against a man who claims they helped his now-ex-wife get abortion medication. It’s another test of state-enforced bans after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday night in Galveston County, Marcus Silva claims that aiding in a self-administered abortion is tantamount to aiding in murder. Silva is seeking $1 million in damages.

The woman, who took the medication in July — weeks after the Supreme Court struck down a constitutional right to abortion that had been in place since 1973 — was not named in the lawsuit. Texas law protects women who have abortions from liability.

Abortion groups condemned the lawsuit, calling it a scare tactic.

“This is a blatant attempt to scare people away from abortion and to intimidate those who are supporting their friends, family and community during a difficult time,” Avtam Katz, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement Friday. “The extremists behind this lawsuit are twisting the law and the judicial system to threaten and harass people who seek help and those who help them.”

Silva is represented by Jonathan Mitchell — a former Texas solicitor general who helped create one of the state’s abortion bans — attorneys from the conservative legal group Thomas More Society and state Rep. Briscoe Cain, a Houston Republican.

“Anyone involved in the distribution or manufacture of abortion pills will be sued into oblivion,” Cain said in a statement from the attorneys.

According to the lawsuit, the pill maker will also be named as a defendant once it is identified in the discovery process.

The lawsuit alleges that he has text messages from women discussing how to get medication that can cause an abortion and how to help a pregnant woman schedule her medication.

Lawsuits challenging abortion restrictions have sprung up across the US as clinics in Republican-dominated states have closed. Earlier this week in Texas, which has one of the strictest bans in the country, banning the procedure in almost all cases except emergencies, five women who said they were denied abortions even though their pregnancies were life-threatening, sued the state.

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