Guest Column

National abortion advocate is defendant in wrongful death abortion lawsuit

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A national abortion advocacy leader has been sued in a wrongful-death lawsuit for her role in the murder of an unborn child in Galveston County, Texas.

Aracely Garcia of Houston, Texas, is the third defendant named by Marcus Silva in his March 10 lawsuit against three women who conspired with his then-wife to kill his preborn child with abortion pills. The other two women named in the lawsuit are Jackie Noyola and Amy Carpenter. Noyola arranged for the delivery of the abortion-inducing drugs through Aracely Garcia.

Photo courtesy of Mark Lee Dickson

According to one online résumé, Aracely Garcia has served with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice as a Field Coordinator from 2018 to present, and as a Campus Organizer with Texas Freedom Network from 2014 to 2015.

On the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice Instagram account, Garcia is prominently featured as a speaker on 19 different flyers, more than any other individual of the flyers featured on their Instagram. Four of these flyers are for “Get to Know Latina Institute” training webinars. On these flyers Garcia was listed as the event host and Digital Organizer. While it appears Garcia hosted two of these by herself on March 24 and April 21 in 2022, it appears Garcia hosted one alongside Education Manager Dinorah Martinez on August 31, 2022, and one alongside National Field Trainer Zelene Suchlit on January 18, 2023.

On April 12, 2022, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice took part in a panel entitled, “Cafecito” and included filmmakers of “On the Divide” Maya Cueva and Leah Galant, “Peace Is Loud” Screenings and Outreach Associate Kaitlyn Hamby, and Catholics For Choice State Policy Associate Marlee Breakstone. Representing the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice was Digital Organizer Aracely Garcia and Texas Director for State Policy and Advocacy Nancy Cardenas Pena.

On July 28, 2022, Garcia hosted an event with Martinez called, “How to Talk About Abortion,” and on August 17 and September 21, 2022, Garcia hosted an event with Martinez called, “Section 1557: Fighting Discrimination in Healthcare.” Garcia also hosted two events on “Faith and Abortion” with Martinez on September 14 and October 19, 2022. And, on October 26, 2022, Garcia hosted an event for the National Institute for Reproductive Justice called “The Importance of the Latina/X Vote” with Suchlit.

This finding raises several questions of concern: Did the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice know about Garcia’s actions which led to the death of Baby Silva? If they did know about Garcia’s actions, at what point did they know about those actions? Did the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice aid Aracely Garcia in breaking the laws of the State of Texas and murdering Baby Silva? These are the questions which many hope to see resolved in the coming weeks.

The lawsuit against Noyola, Carpenter, and Garcia was filed by Briscoe Cain and Jonathan F. Mitchell, along with Thomas Brejcha, Peter Breen, and Marvin Whittaker of the Thomas More Society. Jonathan F. Mitchell is the former Solicitor General of Texas and the architect of the private-enforcement mechanism used in the Texas Heartbeat Act.

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The lawsuit explains, “The wrongful-death statute allows surviving parents to sue those who cause the death of an unborn child by a wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default.”

The lawsuit continues:

Jackie Noyola, Amy Carpenter, and Aracely Garcia each caused the death of baby Silva through their wrongful acts. Abortion is a criminal offense in Texas unless the life of the mother is endangered, and the abortion of baby Silva occurred after Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which eliminated any court-invented license to flout or disregard the state’s abortion laws. Assisting a self-managed abortion in Texas is also an act of murder. And even before Dobbs, abortion was illegal in Texas when performed by anyone other than a licensed physician. 

Defendants Noyola, Carpenter, and Garcia all knew that they were aiding or abetting a self-managed abortion, which is a wrongful act and a criminal act of murder under Texas law, and each of them has the mens rea needed to trigger application of the wrongful-death statute.

The attorneys representing Mr. Silva are intending to investigate the defendants’ employers to determine whether they can be held liable for the murder of baby Silva under the doctrine of respondeat superior. On Thursday, March 16, Attorney Jonathan F. Mitchell sent litigation-hold letters to each of the defendant’s employers — Myrtle Cruz (which employs Jackie Noyola and Amy Carpenter) and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice (which employs Aracely Garcia) — demanding that they preserve all evidence of their relationship with the defendants and their involvement in illegal abortion-pill distribution networks.

The letter to the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Rights, reads:

We understand that Ms. Garcia is employed in your organization, and she was employed as a field coordinator with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice when she procured the illegal abortion pills that were used in the murder.

We intend to take discovery from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice to determine whether Ms. Garcia acted within the scope of her employment when she participated in the murder of Mr. Silva’s child. We will also take discovery on whether anyone at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice assisted Ms. Garcia in obtaining or distributing abortion pills. We will seek any attorney–client communications concerning these illegal activities under the crime–fraud exception to the attorney–client privilege, as well as the identity of every person who aided or abetted Ms. Garcia’s criminal activities.

Mr. Silva’s civil suit is just the beginning of the defendants’ legal troubles. According to Texas Penal Code §§ 1.07, 19.02, 19.06, the defendants also face the prospect of murder charges, as Texas law defines murder to include the intentional killing of an unborn child and assisting in a self-managed abortion. The Galveston County district attorney’s office will decide whether the defendants will face criminal prosecution for their actions.

Mr. Silva is seeking an award against each of the defendants for the wrongful death of his unborn child for over $1,000,000. Mr. Silva is also seeking an injunction against the defendants from distributing abortion pills or assisting in illegal self-managed abortions in Texas, cost and attorneys’ fees, and any other relief the Court finds necessary. Mr. Silva is not bringing any claims against his ex-wife, who is immune from civil and criminal liability under Texas law.

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