2004-03-20 : 7:09 a.m.
Bush is a jackass

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Bush is a jackass...


President Bush has announced his plan to select

Dr. W. David Hager to

headup the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA)

Reproductive Health

DrugsAdvisory 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 termination.

Dr. Hager's views of reproductive health care are far outside the

mainstream for reproductive technology. Dr. Hager is a practicing

OB/GYNwho 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.

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


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

serveas 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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