Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Alert: Hager is old news!

In the wake of the election, people are clearly getting jittery about the spectre of federal appointments. (No, not Specter. Spectre.) How do I know this? Because in the past week, I've had about 7 people forward me the e-mail petition about Dr. David Hager. You've probably seen it, or if you haven't, I'm sure you will soon. Here's a snippet of the standard message:

Dr. Hager is 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 health care are far outside the mainstream for reproductive technology and modern gynecological practice. 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 (causes abortion).

Scary stuff, definitely. But here's the thing: Hager has already been appointed. In fact, he was appointed two years ago, in December of 2002. So please, please: if you get this email petition from someone you know, let them know that this is a done deal. (You can send them here for more information.) And ALWAYS be suspicious of e-mail petitions: they are an astoundingly inefficient way of registering protest, and almost all of them are out-dated or just plain incorrect. There are several good websites that are handy for checking on these sorts of messages: two of my favorites are here and here. My own policy (after getting snookered a few times) is never to forward petition emails, but if you do forward them, please check them out first. There will be plenty of things worth protesting in the next four years: let's reserve our energy for those battles.