Sunday, February 22, 2009

1991: Woman attributes chest pain to abortion, dies of heart attack

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.

For more abortion deaths, visit the Cemetery of Choice:

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Anonymous said...

I knew Shirley (though she NEVER went by that name) and I know that she would have been horrified to be some sort of poster girl for the anti-choice movement. She was a good friend, great mother and a real talent. While struggling as a college student and single mother, she concentrated on caring for others (including me) instead of taking better care of herself. She has been dead for nearly 20 years! Stop continuing to use her to further your absurd cause--one which she was clearly opposed.

Christina Dunigan said...

I'm sorry that you lost your friend. But do you really think that she opposed encouraging prochoice people to take a stand against seedy abortionists?

Read here about why I post the abortion death stories, and tell me why you think she would disagree with the idea of encouraging prochoicers to band together against quack abortionists.