Five months later Bollier—still running for Senate—is doing a digital town hall during a pandemic, calmly explaining to Mary, a seamstress with 70 years of experience, the scientific reasons why true personal protective equipment (PPE) is better for health care providers than hand-sewn cloth masks. “However, if we get to the point where we have nothing, a cotton mask is better than nothing,” Bollier tells Mary, and the rest of the listening Kansans. “Give me a holler,” she adds, and she’ll find out whether hospitals need Mary’s help.
In 2018, when she endorsed a Democrat for Congress, even though she was still a GOP member herself, she was stripped of her position on the Senate health committee—a significant loss for a former physician. (She says she endorsed the person who was “clearly the best candidate. ”) During the primary, the spokesperson for Kansans For Life, an anti-choice group, endorsed one of Bollier’s opponents by billing Bollier as “an abortion fanatic.
But as the GOP has taken a sharp right turn, common-sense gun-violence prevention and affordable health care have been ceded to the Democrats. “When women are making very difficult health care decisions, the last thing they want is a politician in between them and their doctor,” Bollier tells Glamour.
Her daughter, Anne Marie, is in school…to become a doctor. “I became a doctor so I could help people and make their lives better and ultimately as an anesthesiologist give them an experience under surgery where they wouldn’t hurt,” Bollier says. “And I went into public service for the very same reason, and that is to take care of people and make their lives better.
In 2012, when Bollier was in the Kansas House of Representatives, she watched as her Republican colleagues passed a bill that would require doctors to tell pregnant women that getting an abortion could increase their risk of breast cancer. “That’s simply not true,” Bollier says, exasperated. “Following science really does matter.
They call themselves Intentionally Being Women Together (IBWT), and they’re like a book club, Bollier explains, but for the soul. “We take annual retreats to really delve deep into being better people in this world,” she says. “That’s why I'm able to do what I do and run for office—a lot of women shy away from it because of the public exposure and the potential hurt and meanness.
If Bollier (pronounced, per her Twitter bio, like [bowl emoji] + [hands-up emoji]) wins, she will be the first woman doctor ever elected to the U. S. Senate. (There have been 53 doctors in the Senate, all men.