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Hager Selected for the FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor The eRumor is a protest of
the choice of Dr. David Hager to lead the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee.
It says he is a religious pro-life physician who refuses to
prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women and opposes the use of
RU-486, the pill that ends a pregnancy.
The Truth Dr. David Hager is a part
of the teaching staff of the University of Kentucky College of
Medicine and has developed a reputation as an expert on gynecologic
This eRumor was circulated before Dr. Hager actually became a member
of the committee.
He is now a part of the panel, although he did not become the
chairman of it.
He is a conservatively oriented physician and is a speaker and
author in the Christian community who describes himself as pro-life.
He objected to this eRumor saying that he does not know who wrote it
and that no one had interviewed him for it and that some of it is
He says that he does not refuse to prescribe birth control for
He is an advocate of abstinence but for patients who do not make
that choice, he is not opposed to birth control prescription.
He also says that his opposition to RU-486 was based on his concerns
about the safety of the drug.
He says RU-486 was approved under an "Accelerated Approval
Process" reserved exclusively for anti-AIDS and anti-cancer
drugs and an antihypertensive agent. He says that normally the
FDA requires one or more than one randomized, controlled trials
before approving a drug, which was not done for RU-486.
He also says that he does not believe that standard birth control
pills are abortifacient and has never written it.
He says he co-edited a book that referenced various views about
birth control pills but that not all of those views were his own.
Regarding his views of how to deal with stress-related disorders in
women, he says "I have always offered a holistic approach to
therapy. I suggest diet/exercise changes, medications as
needed, counseling when required, and meditation/prayer."
Last updated 11/30/03
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Subject: FDA nomination
This is frightening and I wanted to share some important
with you that has come to me:
President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David Hager
head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive
Drugs Advisory Committee. The committee has not met for more than
years, during which time its charter lapsed. As a result, the Bush
Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions with
members. This position does not require Congressional approval.
The FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committ ee makes
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
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
contraceptives to unmarried women. Hager is the author of "As
Cared for Women: Restoring omen Then and Now." The book
biblical accounts of Christ healing women with case studies from
I n the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress
Woman's Body," he suggests that women who suffer from
syndrome should seek help from reading the bible and praying. As
editor and contributing author of "The Reproduction
Christian Appraisal of Sexuality Reproductive Technologies and the
Family," Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically
assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient.
Hager's mission is religiously motivated. He has an ardent
revoking approval for mifepristone (formerly known as RU-486) as a
and early form of medical abortion. Hagar recently assisted the
Christian Medical Association in a "citizen's petition"
&nb sp;the FDA to revoke its approval of mifepristone in the
name of women's
Hager's desire to overturn mifepristone's approval on religious
rather than scientific merit would halt the development of
as a treatment for numerous medical conditions disproportionately
affecting women, including breast cancer, uterine cancer, uterine
fibroid tumors, psychotic depression, bipolar depression and
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
and those undergoing treatment for cancer, pregnancy can be a
life-threatening condition. We are concerned that Dr. Hager's
religious beliefs may color his assessment of technologies that
necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote
Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his
decision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate candidate
serve as chair of this committee. Critical drug public policy and
research must not be held hostage by antiabortion politics.
this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science
medicine, rather than politics and religion. American women
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. SEND THIS TO EVERY PERSON YOU KNOW WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT
2. OPPOSE THE PLACEMENT OF THIS MAN BY CONTACTING THE WHITE HOUSE
TELL THEM HE IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE ON ANY LEVEL.
Please email President Bush at email@example.com and say
oppose the appointment of Dr. W. David Hager to the FDA
Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Mixing religion and medicine is
unacceptable in a policy-making position. Using the FDA to promote
political agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens women's
Dr. Ilona N. Rashkow
Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, Women's Studies,
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Comparative Literatu re
SUNY at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, New York 11794-3355
2 For 1
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