Shirley Hollis, a 30-year-old mother of two, had an abortion performed by Bruce Lucero on February 22, 1991.
Shortly after she went home, she was short of breath, had pain in her arms, and was vomiting. Her boyfriend called the clinic and was told to bring her to the emergency room. (I give great credit to them for doing this; it's far more typical for the clinic to be the ones reassuring the patient that the symptoms are normal and not to seek care.)
Shirley wanted to wait, thinking the symptoms were related to the abortion and would go away on their own. Shortly afterward, she had a heart attack, and her boyfriend called 911 and started CPR. The ambulance took Shirley to the hospital, where she died.
The autopsy found that Shirley had severe coronary artery disease, which had never been diagnosed. Shirley's mother faulted Lucero with Shirley's death because he failed to detect her heart problem when he examined her at the abortion facility.
Although the abortion did not directly cause Shirley's death, I list her as an abortion death because her belief that the abortion was causing her symptoms led her to delay seeking appropriate medical care. The abortion might also have demoralized her into not caring enough to seek help for her symptoms. I would very much like to see a study to see if, just as women are more prone to violent death after abortion, they are also more prone to die of medical conditions that they allow to go untreated due to post-abortion mental health or drug and alcohol issues.
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