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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 16, 2002

CONTACT

Communications Department
202-667-5881

National Abortion Federation Opposes Appointment of Anti-Choice Zealot to Women's Health Advisory Panel at the FDA

Washington, DC - The Bush Administration is considering the appointment of Dr. David Hager to the Reproductive Health Drug Advisory Committee at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Committee plays a vital role in the ability of the FDA to monitor the safety and efficacy of drugs that affect women's health. "The Reproductive Health Drug Advisory Committee makes important decisions regarding women's health care, and members appointed to it should be chosen on the basis of their medical and scientific qualifications," said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation. "Unfortunately, Dr. Hager's main qualification seems to be his extreme opposition to contraception and abortion."

In September 2000, the Committee made a key recommendation that led to the approval of mifepristone for very early medical abortion. The FDA based this decision on an extensive review of the medical and scientific evidence. Despite the solid science behind the safety and efficacy of mifepristone, Dr. Hager has gone so far as to assist anti-choice groups in filing a petition to overturn the FDA's approval of this drug.

Dr. Hager is even reported to have refused to prescribe birth control pills to single women in his Kentucky practice. Furthermore, he recommends reading the Bible as a cure for menstrual cramps.

"Dr. Hager has demonstrated a deep-seated bias against scientifically proven reproductive health drugs, including oral contraceptives and mifepristone," said Saporta. "That alone should immediately disqualify him from serving on a Committee charged with overseeing such drugs."

The Reproductive Health Drug Advisory Committee will soon convene its first scheduled meeting in two years. "The issues currently facing the Committee are too important to allow this Administration to endanger women's health by politicizing the FDA. The American public wants the FDA to continue to base their decisions on scientific evidence, not anti-choice politics," concluded Saporta.

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The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in the U.S. and Canada dedicated to ensuring that abortion remains safe, legal and accessible.
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