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The Bush Administration's assault on women's rights has begun and we absolutely must take action.

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 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 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. His 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. 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. There is concern that members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science and medicine, rather than politics and religion.

I usually ignore this type of stuff because I figure it's some hoax. I have verified the accuracy of its contents (see Time Magazine, October 5, 2004, www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,361521,00.html), but do so yourself if it will make a difference in whether you act or not. This is very scary and you must pass this along to your friends and family who you think would also agree this wrong and we must act.

For whatever it is worth, I e-mailed the following to the White House (president@whitehouse.gov) and encourage everyone to do the same:

President Bush:

I am in complete and total opposition to your recent appointment of Dr. David Hager to the FDA's panel on women's health policy.

Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science and medicine. Dr. Hager's record clearly demonstrates his judgement is heavily biased in favor of politics and religion.

His strong religious beliefs color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health. Dr. 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.

Originally posted to Citizen Earth on Thu Nov 11, 2004 at 10:06 AM PST.

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