ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

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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. Hager is a practicing obstetrician-gynecologist, and sources told Time magazine that in his private practice he will not prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women. He is also the author of a book which suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome should seek help from reading the bible and praying.

The Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee is responsible for offering expert scientific and medical advice to the FDA on matters relating to drugs used in the practice of obstetrics, gynecology, and related specialties. The committee's responsibilities include all contraceptive drugs and drugs used in performing medical abortion as well as drugs used for infertility treatments, hormone replacement therapy and labor and delivery. 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.

Women rely on the FDA to ensure their access to safe and effective drugs for reproductive health care including products that have been proven to help safely 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. Religion should not be a barrier to access to safe and effective drugs that are necessary for preserving and promoting women's health and protecting women's lives.

There is no place at the FDA for someone who, based on religious beliefs, would deny unmarried women access to technologies which are a part of mainstream medical care and to which all women have a legal right. To appoint a person who advocates religion as a treatment for medical conditions to such an influential position at the agency responsible for regulation of medical drugs is to deprive the FDA and the women who rely on it of the scientific and medical expertise they deserve.

The National Women's Health Network urges you to email President Bush at or call the White House at 202-456-1111 to say that you oppose the appointment of Dr. Hager to the FDA Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee and ask the president to select a committee chair with a track record of making medical decisions based on science instead of religion.

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