This week, Dr. Leana Wen began her tenure as the new president of Planned Parenthood.
Wen is a trained emergency room physician and the former health commissioner for the city of Baltimore. She will be the first physician to run the organization in over 50 years, and she is replacing former President Cecile Richards. The surprising appointment of Wen is meant to signal that the organization, currently the largest abortion provider in the United States, is moving away from politics and abortion and will instead focus on healthcare.
Don’t buy it.
For abortion advocates, there is nothing more sacred than protecting the right of a woman to terminate the life of her child. Absent from any of the strategic conversation, of course, is any consideration for the actual lives lost. As a result, Planned Parenthood’s plan reflects a worldview more concerned with protecting abortion itself rather than the women, men, and children it claims to serve.
In light of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation and what could become “an increasingly difficult environment” for Planned Parenthood, here are the three major components the new strategy that Wen will help lead:
1) Expand abortion access. The first goal is to “expand abortion access in states receptive to abortion rights legislation,” which would increase the number of clinics in those locations. There are already plans to open up a couple of new clinics over the next couple of years, including in Texas and Michigan.
It’s important to notice that the organization is only interested in trying to expand abortion access, not the availability of healthcare. One of Planned Parenthood’s biggest deceptions is its claim that abortion is healthcare, and this lie has come at the cost of providing actual medical care to communities.
Since 2006, annual reports have shown that Planned Parenthood cancer prevention services have decreased by 65 percent, contraception by 32 percent , and other services by 36 percent. Planned Parenthood continually touts its supposed role as a healthcare provider, but its actual strategy reveals that the only “service” it’s interested in continuing to provide is abortion.
2) Conduct policy work. The second goal is to conduct “policy work aimed at strengthening reproductive rights,” i.e. making sure that women continue to have abortion access no matter the cost.
Planned Parenthood is taking a hard look at abortion restrictions currently being litigated at the state level that could come before the Supreme Court.
In addition to the organization’s difficult relationship with the law and the major legal scandals that took place during Cecile Richards’ tenure, the Supreme Court recently ruled that pro-life pregnancy centers cannot be forced to advertise for abortions in NIFLA v. Becerra, a staggering loss for the pro-abortion community. A similar law was struck down in Hawaii.
In light of these pro-life victories, it makes sense that Planned Parenthood would feel the need to bolster its policy presence.
3) Reduce stigma surrounding abortion. The third and final goal is to reduce the stigma around abortion. When NPR spoke with Planned Parenthood’s Vice President of Communications Kevin Griffis, he revealed that the organization “recently restructured its communications division to create a team focused on working with ‘cultural influencers’ like television writers and producers to tell stories about abortion and reproductive health,” portraying abortion on screen in a positive light.
The interest in destigmatizing abortion is troublesome because it means sanitizing and trivializing a barbaric act. It devalues the lives that are lost and the human cost of abortion. History is full of examples of what can happen when human life is no longer valued by those in power.
Planned Parenthood’s strategy is nothing new, but it does show that the abortion giant is nervous. The social, spiritual, political, and cultural landscape of this country is changing, and more people are acknowledging the humanity of preborn children and the importance of protecting them.
In the end, time will tell if Planned Parenthood’s new strategy, based on deception, fear, and distraction, will be effective under the leadership of Wen. Thankfully, trend lines and an increasingly pro-life generation of young people suggests it won’t work — and isn’t working.
LifeNews Note: Brittany Raymer is a life issues analyst at Focus on the Family. This article originally appeared at the Washington Examiner.