Who is Leana Wen? Ex-Planned Parenthood prez says was ousted for not promoting abortion enough
A former Planned Parenthood president has alleged that the organization forced her out of leadership because she wasn't aggressive enough in promoting its pro-abortion agenda.
Dr. Leana Wen was only allowed to serve eight months as the president of Planned Parenthood, between 2018 and 2019. According to Business Insider, she was given an ultimatum early on in her tenure: She could either change her strategy as president to meet the board's demands or resign from office. Wen, an emergency physician and former Baltimore health commissioner, had reportedly tried to promote the organization as a nonpartisan healthcare institution. However, the board wanted her to fiercely advocate its progressive, pro-abortion agenda.
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The embattled medical professional made her claims in a book released Tuesday, July 28, titled, "Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health." In her book, Wen also recalled how the organization had instructed her to "mention and promote abortion services every chance she got," The Blaze reported.
In a separate report on the book, Business Insider noted how Wen was excited to promote Planned Parenthood as a nonpartisan health care provider that was dedicated in its mission to grant women easy access to the medical attention they needed.
In fact, the doctor even appeared on ABC's "The View" to discuss her vision on her first day as president of the organization. However, she said her colleagues and others in the organization rebuked her for not mentioning "abortion" enough and that she should use the term more in her discourse.
According to her, a board member texted her after the ABC segment, "Next time, make sure you talk about abortion."
"You need to talk about abortion at every media interview," a national staffer told her. "You're the president of Planned Parenthood. People expect that from you." Another added, "Not saying 'abortion' sounds as if you're ashamed of it," while one colleague told her,"...if we don't talk about abortion openly, loudly, and proudly, as a positive moral good, then we are further stigmatizing it and the people who need it."
Wen, who describes herself as pro-choice, found the pressure to advance the pro-abortion agenda above everything else was a step too far. She eventually left the organization in July 2019, but her exit was anything but smooth. Wen wrote in her book how she was in the process of deciding whether to resign or toe the line when she had a miscarriage. She described the incident as "devastating in a way that I couldn't have anticipated."
Meanwhile, instead of supporting her through the rough patch, some colleagues of hers callously suggested that she could use the miscarriage as a public relations explanation for her departure. "This was offensive and hurtful on so many levels," Wen noted in her book.
What's more? Wen wasn't even granted the dignity of a resignation; She was voted out by the organization's board, and she learned of the decision via news alert on her phone.