Thursday, February 22, 2007

1991: Woman dies, thinking pain was abortion aftermath

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. Shirley wanted to wait, thinking the symptoms were related to the abortion and would go away on their own.

Shortly afterward, Shirley 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. It does lead one to wonder what sort of pre-operative examination was performed, that she was seen as healthy enough for outpatient surgery when she had heart problems so bad that she dropped dead later that day. Though it is to their credit that they told her to go to an emergency room.

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. This is similar to the way women with ectopic pregnancies are more likely to die if they choose abortion, because they attribute their symptoms to the abortion and don't realize that their lives are in danger until it's too late.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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