Abortion Advocates Target Reappointment of Pro-Life FDA Advisor

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 23, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Advocates Target Reappointment of Pro-Life FDA Advisor

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
June 23, 2004

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates, disappointed by the FDA’s decision not to allow over-the-counter sales of the sometimes abortive morning-after-pill, have circulated a petition asking President Bush not to reappoint Dr. W. David Hager to the FDA.

Dr. Hager’s term as a member of the FDA Advisory Committee For Reproductive Health Drugs expires June 30, unless President Bush reappoints him to the position.

NARAL is opposing his reappointment and is actively seeking people to demand that Dr. Hager be left out of the Food and Drug Administration.

Calling Dr. Hager and “anti-choice zealot,” NARAL blasts him for his views in an email to its supporters, claiming his views and the decision not to approve the morning after pill were not based on scientific evidence.

“Just as we feared, Hager has put his personal anti-choice views ahead of science and public health," NARAL wrote in the email.

"He voted to oppose the over-the-counter sale of the Plan B emergency contraception, despite overwhelming support by the medical community and his fellow committee members,” states the email.

But Hager has strong support on Capitol Hill.

"I had a wonderful response of support,” Dr. Hager told LifeNews.com upon his return from Washington, where he spoke at the Medical Institute national meeting and was on the Hill to speak to the Senate and House staff and aides about FDA issues.

“My position on the Plan B issue was based on a review of the science and the lack of substantive data from the population of adolescent women,” explained Dr. Hager. “My concern is regarding the health and well-being of women."

That’s the same reason why the FDA disallowed over-the-counter sales.

The agency said drug manufacturer Barr Laboratories’ main basis for approval was a study of 585 people who had used the drug. However, the FDA pointed out that only 29 of the subjects were 14-16 years old.

“I understand the extreme left’s effort to discredit me and my efforts to help women, so I continue to stand firm on my decision to remain on the committee and to continue to state the truth about vital issues facing women and their health," Hager said in response to the NARAL email.

"Our system of approval of drugs is unparalleled in the world," Hager told LifeNews.com. "We do not, nor should we allow medications to be used by any segment of the population without adequate, well-designed studies to prove their safety and effectiveness."

The American Medical Association has sided with abortion advocates to try to pressure the FDA into reversing its decision.

Meanwhile, Rep. Dave Weldon, a Florida Congressman who is a doctor by profession, wrote a letter on behalf of 49 members of Congress asking President Bush to direct the FDA to oppose the sale of the drugs without consultation with a physician.

"We are concerned that adolescent exposure to sexually transmitted infection will increase because of the availability of levonorgestrel over-the-counter," Weldon wrote. "This availability may ultimately result in significant increases in cancer, infertility, and HIV/AIDS."

ACTION: Contact your U.S. senators and urge support for the reappointment of Dr. David Hager. You can call any senator at 202-224-3121 or find specific contact information for your state’s senators at https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm