Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Doctor, Heal Thy Self! [UPDATED]

UPDATE:Thanks to regular reader Bob James, I realize I misread the Snopes article that I quoted below: this appointment - after a fashion - has already happened. Dr. Hager was appointed to the FDA committee, but was not appointed to chair the committee.

While outdated in the specifics, this article remains topical. This still serves as a warning: If BushCo remains in our White House beyond his current term, we can expect more appointments like this. We can expect a continued erosion of our rights and liberties.

My apologies for the mistake. My original post remains below - minus the call to action.

Keith at The Invisible Library, posted the following at the Liberal Coalition Blog, it's originally from It is vitally important to get this information out as broadly as possible (all bold emphasis is mine):

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 has lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions with new members. This position does not require Congressional approval.


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 Women 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.

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.

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