This is very, very bad

From the “holy shit, what will become of us over the next 4 years?” department (thanks to Adam at Tattoodles for posting this on one of his message boards).

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 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, 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.

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 serve as 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.

I read this and hoped it was a joke. I googled the guy’s name and came up with somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,800 hits. Time/CNN have run an article about him on both of their websites recently, and so has Planned Parenthood. This is absolutely terrifying to me. Anyone who says to use prayer as a remedy for any medical condition is the equivalent of a witch doctor in my book. And not prescribing contraceptives to unmarried women is beyond asinine. Are we suddenly living in the middle east? What’s next, is someone going to show up at my front door, take away my driver’s license, and force me to wear a burqa? Wait, isn’t that what we’re supposed to be saving the rest of the world from?

Heaven help us all.