A Woman's View of the Bush Administration

Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Chairman, David Hager: Hager says, "If you are liberated, a woman's libber, you can thank Jesus for that." At the time of his appointment, he was Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Kentucky. He recently helped the Christian Medical Association with a "citizens" petition" calling on the FDA to reverse its approval of RU-486, the "abortion pill," claiming it puts women at risk. (RU-483 or RU-4Jesus?)

Senior Associate Commissioner of the FDA, Linda Arey Skladany, has rejected doctors proposed by FDA staffers and pushed for naming Hager to the post. Skladany is a former drug-industry lobbyist with Bush family ties. The policy panel, which helped get RU-486 approved, will lead a study on the issue of hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women. Time magazine notes that, "Some conservatives are trying to use doubts about such therapy to discredit the use of birth control pills which contain similar compounds."

Hager has written several books,one with his wife, and recommends Scripture readings to treat various ailments. He is also an editor of the Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Secuality, Reproductive Technologies, and the Family. One of the pieces, "Using the Birth Control Pill is Ethically Unacceptable," says scientific data show that the pill causes abortions. Although Hager says he disagrees with that piece, he prefers not to prescribe contraceptives to single women, but will if they insist and reject his advice to abstain. He does not do abortions, will not prescribe RU-486, and will not insert IUDs. He says, "I believe sex outside of marriage is a sin. But I am not against medication." He has also written that it is "dangerous" to compartmentalize life into "categories of Christian truth and secular truth."

A Washington Post article in September reported that the Bush administration was restructuring scientific advisory committees on patients rights and public health, "eliminating some committees that were coming to conclusions at odds with the president's views and in other cases replacing members with handpicked choices. The former FDA commissioner, David Kessler has warned, "If the criteria to be on an advisory committee are based on a political litmus test, that will set tthis country back." Taken from "Crowding out science for politics," by Maureen Dowd in The Kansas City Star, 10/13/02