Below is the full text of the email I received protesting Dr. Hager's appointment to the FDA's Reproductive Health
Drugs Advisory Committee.
Subject: Dr. David Hager and the FDA Subject: Bush appointment Date: Mon, 05 Jan 2004
President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David Hager to head up the
Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. The
committee has not met for more than two years, during which time its charter lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration
is tasked with filling all eleven positions with new members. This position does not require Congressional approval. The FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee makes crucial decisions
on matters relating to drugs used in the practice of obstetrics, gynecology and related specialties, including hormone therapy,
contraception, treatment for infertility, and medical alternatives to surgical procedures for sterilization and pregnancy
Dr. Hager's views of reproductive health care are far outside the mainstream for reproductive technology.
Dr. Hager is a practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried
women. Hager is the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring omen Then and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of
Christ healing women with case studies from Hager's practice. In the book
Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body," he suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual
syndrome should seek help from reading the bible and praying. As an editor and contributing author of "The Reproduction Revolution:
A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality Reproductive Technologies and the Family," Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically
inaccurate assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient. Hager's
mission is religiously motivated. He has an ardent interest in revoking approval for mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486)
as a safe and early form of medical abortion.Hagar recently assisted the Christian
Medical Association in a "citizen's petition" which calls upon the FDA to revoke its approval of mifepristone in the name
of women's health.
Hager's desire to overturn mifepristone's approval on religious grounds rather than scientific merit would
halt the development of mifepristone as a treatment for numerous medical conditions disproportionately affecting women, including
breast cancer, uterine cancer, uterine fibroid tumors, psychotic depression, bipolar depression and Cushing's syndrome.
Women rely on the FDA to ensure their access to safe and effective drugs for reproductive health care
including products that prevent pregnancy. For some women, such as those with certain types of diabetes and those undergoing
treatment for cancer, pregnancy can be a life-threatening condition. We are concerned that Dr. Hager's strong religious beliefs
may color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health.
Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his medical decision-making makes him
a dangerous and inappropriate candidate to serve as chair of this committee. Critical drug public policy and research must
not be held hostage by antiabortion politics. Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science
and medicine, rather than politics and religion. American women deserve no less.
Whichever side you are on, get out and vote in every election.
Stay informed. If you want to change the way things are, you can as long as this country remains a democracy.