Thursday, May 12


The righteousness of the man who wrote the "minority report" that caused the FDA to reject over-the-counter emergency contraception is exposed.

This man's star is still rising among conservatives. His story is a warning about the deleterious influence one smug, hypocritical a--hole can exert, and the thousands, even millions of lives, he affects by doing so.

In December 2003 the FDA advisory committee of which he is a member was asked to consider whether emergency contraception, known as Plan B, should be made available over the counter. Over Hager's dissent, the committee voted overwhelmingly to approve the change. But the FDA rejected its recommendation, a highly unusual and controversial decision in which Hager, The Nation has learned, played a key role.
By 1995, according to Davis's account, Hager's treatment of his wife had moved beyond morally reprehensible to potentially felonious.
As disturbing as they are on their own, Linda Davis's allegations take on even more gravity in light of Hager's public role as a custodian of women's health. Some may argue that this is just a personal matter between a man and his former wife--a simple case of "he said, she said" with no public implications. That might be so--if there were no allegations of criminal conduct, if the alleged conduct did not bear any relevance to the public responsibilities of the person in question, and if the allegations themselves were not credible and independently corroborated. But given that this case fails all of those tests, the public has a right to call on Dr. David Hager to answer Linda Davis's charges before he is entrusted with another term. After all, few women would knowingly choose a sexual abuser as their gynecologist, and fewer still would likely be comfortable with the idea of letting one serve as a federal adviser on women's health issues.


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