A countersuit has been filed by two of three women who were named in a wrongful death lawsuit by a man in Galveston County, who alleged they conspired to help his then-wife obtain an abortion. This lawsuit was the first filed in the aftermath of sweeping anti-abortion legislation that has created an environment of fear and weaponization throughout Texas.
The allegations of the defendants point a disturbing picture of Marcus Silva, and his erratic and emotionally abusive behavior towards Brittni Silva, who is now his ex-wife. Their countersuit also demonstrates the absurdity and cruelty at the heart of abortion bans, and the legal ramifications that can ensue.
According to the defendants, Jackie and Amy, Marcus Silva exhibited a pattern of abuse towards Brittni throughout their marriage. He subjected her to verbal abuse and manipulative behavior. He would even hide her car keys to prevent her from leaving their house.
Things reached a breaking point for Brittni when Marcus showed up to a work event and called her a “slut” and other derogatory names. His behavior was so bad, the police were called. At that point, according to Jackie and Amy, Brittni determined she needed a divorce.
The two continued to live together and in July 2022, Marcus went through Brittni’s purse and phone and discovered one of two pills used for a medication abortion. He put the pill back into her purse, but used his knowledge to inflict harm on Brittni.
Brittni had been fearful that Marcus would use the pregnancy against her. Her fears were not unfounded since the number one cause of death for pregnant women is homicide. Marcus would go on to message Jackie and Amy, threatening them too in his attempt to keep Brittni. He filed a police report on July 18, 2022 with the League City Police Department admitting he illegally accessed Brittni’s phone without her permission and knew about the pregnancy before it was terminated.
In his lawsuit against Jackie and Amy, Silva alleged a criminal conspiracy and said the pregnancy was terminated without his knowledge, which is apparently a lie. Silva is represented by Jonathan Mitchell, the architect of Senate Bill 8, the abortion ban passed in 2021 that also allows individuals to sue anybody they believe has aided or abetted an abortion, and Republican State Rep. Briscoe Cain. Though the lawsuit doesn’t rely upon SB 8, it utilizes many similar themes regarding punishing anyone who helps in obtaining an abortion.
If Mitchell and Cain were hopeful to present a sympathetic figure in the first-of-its-kind lawsuit in Texas, they couldn’t have found a worse person than Marcus Silva. Throughout his relationship with Brittni, he was controlling and manipulative. Any claims of having sincerely held “pro-life” beliefs also run counter to the fact that he returned the abortion medication to Brittni’s belongings.
Republicans in Texas knew they were playing with legal fire when they passed SB 8, but they didn’t care. While Marcus Silva is the first individual to take advantage of draconian anti-abortion laws to further inflict pain upon his former partner, thanks to Texas Republicans he certainly won’t be the last.
A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).