Friday, February 22, 2008

Anniversary: Women fails to heed advice to seek care, dies

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 -- to the credit of whoever fielded the call -- 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.

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.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Ladybug said...

Hmm, although coronary artery disease is a contraindication for an abortion and it was undiagnosed, how would the abortion clinic have detected her heart condition. Doesn't it take more in depth testing (such as EKGs, imaging, and blood tests) to detect this condition, tests which might be preformed by a family care practice, internalist, or ER, wouldn't be routinly preformed at an abortion clinic?

Christina Dunigan said...

That's why I simply noted that Shirley's mom faulted Lucero. His staff -- or perhaps Lucero himself, since I don't know who took the call -- told her boyfriend to take her to the emergency room. She was having clear cardiac symptoms. I don't know if she would have been symptomatic at the time of the abortion. Perhaps she was, perhaps not.

Sometimes I wonder if some of the women who fail to seek care after their abortions do so because at some level they want to die, if perhaps ignoring alarming symptoms might be a passive method of committing suicide. I'm not saying in all cases, but it might be a factor in some situations.