President Bush has named W. David Hager, a vocal critic of the abortion pill Mifepristone, to the Food and Drug Administration's Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs. Bush appointed Hager (a prominent member of the Christian Medical Association) and 10 others on December 24.
The committee will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of drugs that obstetricians and gynecologists.
The CMA is petitioning the FDA to re-examine the approval process for Mifepristone, or RU-486, which the association calls unsafe. Prochoice groups accuse the Kentucky physician of religious extremism.
Supporters, such as the Family Research Council, say Hager is a victim of religious profiling for his prolife views (CT, Dec, 9, 2002, p.15). Pia De Solenni, an ethicist with FRC's Center for Human Life and Bioethics, told Christianity Today, "We're not the ones putting out a litmus test."
Hager told CT that pro-choice are calling for his resignation. "There's still an outcry from pro-abortion forces to get me to resign," Hager said. "I don't intend to resign."
If the panel were to make a decision about Mifepristone, Hager said, he would recuse himself from the vote of his high public profile on the issue.
Hager said he will continue to evaluate all data objectively. "It's my firm belief that a person of faith can be a person of science," he said.
Previous Christianity Today articles include:
FDA Candidate Irks Abortion Pill Advocates | The Christian Medical Association says critics fear David Hager's "well-grounded" opposition. (Nov. 26, 2002)
Counteroffensive Launched on RU-486 | Abortion-pill critics allege safety concerns overlooked in FDA approval process. (June 15, 2001)
Related coverage includes:
Bush FDA Nominee Cites Safety ...1
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