Two of the three Texas women being sued for $1 million each for allegedly helping a friend obtain abortion pills are fighting back: Jackie Noyola and Amy Carpenter filed a countersuit on Monday in Galveston County, calling their friend’s ex-husband, Marcus Silva, a “serial emotional abuser” who “had spent years verbally attacking [his then wife], seeking to manipulate and control” Brittni Silva.
The pair allege that Silva knew about Brittni’s plans to obtain an abortion and did nothing. “Silva did not file this lawsuit because he is interested in ‘protecting life.’ Instead, he wanted to control a life, Brittni’s,” the lawsuit reads.
Marcus Silva first sued Noyola and Carpenter in March, making it the first lawsuit of its kind since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court last summer. It was first reported by the Texas Tribune.
Silva notably didn’t file his suit under the “aiding and abetting” provision of the state’s chilling abortion ban; instead, he sued the women under Texas’s wrongful death statute. While Texas law spares pregnant people from prosecution, Silva’s lawsuit claims the self-managed abortion is murder under state law, thereby letting him sue the people that supposedly helped his ex-wife.
In April, reporting strongly supported that Silva actually knew about Brittni’s pregnancy and her intent to obtain an abortion back in July 2022, a few months after she filed for divorce. According to a police report in the pair’s countersuit filing, Silva told police he went through Brittni’s purse and found a phone number to an abortion clinic hotline. The next day, Silva found a mifepristone pill in her purse, he told police.
“Rather than talking with Brittni about what he found or disposing of the pill, Silva took photos of the texts and surreptitiously put the pill back. He wasn’t interested in stopping her from terminating a possible pregnancy,” the lawsuit reads. “Instead, he wanted to obtain evidence he could use against her if she refused to stay under his control, which is precisely what he tried to do.”
The lawsuit presents screeshots of texts from Brittni to Carpenter where Brittni details when Silva finally did confront her. Silva threatened to put Brittni in jail if “I don’t give him my ‘mind, body and soul’ until the end of the divorce, which he’s going to drag out,” she texted, according to the lawsuit.
Brittni says that Silva was threatening to sell their house and fight for primary custody of their children. “So now that’s being held over my head and I feel stuck because I’m a fucking idiot,” Brittni told her friend, according to the screenshots.
“If I try to leave I think he’s going to use that against me. I know he took a picture of the pill and assuming he snapped pictures of whatever he could of us talking about me doing it. If I don’t do what he wants I know he will do that shit,” Brittni said. “He’s shown me messages even with his dad egging him on to do it.”
Brittni’s messages shared in the filing will sound familiar to those who have experienced intimate partner violence. “Im [sic] just a ducking [sic] idiot. All around. And feel trapped,” she wrote.
The blackmail plan failed, and the divorce petition was finalized in February 2023. The lawsuit was filed in March, but again, Silva couldn’t sue Brittni directly, so he sued his ex-wife’s support system. The countersuit says Silva violated Carpenter and Noyola’s right to privacy and violated the Texas Harmful Access by Computer Act, which essentially makes it a crime to go through someone’s electronics.
The pair also allege that since Silva knew about the abortion (according to the text messages provided in their filing) that he should also be culpable. “Silva is seeking to publicly humiliate Brittni and her friends under false pretenses. While he excoriates Brittni, Jackie, and Amy, he ignores and omits his own horrible conduct and complicity,” the lawsuit reads.
The next hearing is in June in Galveston.