Mission Hills’ Barbara Bollier, a retired anesthesiologist now serving in the Kansas House of Representatives, has been a lone voice of dissent among her Republican peers on issues of reproductive health — particularly those concerning proposed laws that would make it more difficult for women to get abortions.Her objection to a proposal currently before the legislature that would require doctors to tell patients that women who get abortions are at a higher risk for breast cancer — a connection not supported by the latest research on the issue — has recently made her the subject of national media attention.
Late last week, New York Times columnist Gail Collins featured Bollier in a piece about state legislatures across the country working to pass bills that would impact reproductive health:
Bollier is a retired anesthesiologist, who also formerly taught bioethics. If you wanted to have a résumé guaranteed to drive you crazy in the Kansas State Legislature, she’s got it.
We had a very interesting discussion over the phone about good science — what makes a reliable study, and how an early suggestion of a possible connection between abortions and breast cancer was overtaken by larger, better studies that showed no evidence of a link whatsoever. All of this has been shared with the Kansas Legislature, to no effect whatsoever.
Bollier has her finger on the moral to all this. When faced with a choice between scientific evidence and their personal and political preferences, legislators are not going to go with the statistics.
Read the full article here.