Dr. Leana Wen, the recently fired head of Planned Parenthood, has not made her exit from the nation’s largest abortion provider a quiet one.
In a letter to Planned Parenthood’s board of directors, which was leaked to The New York Times, Wen accuses the group of trying to “buy [her] silence,” by withholding her severance package as “ransom” to get her to sign a confidentiality agreement.
“No amount of money can ever buy my integrity and my commitment to the patients I serve,” she wrote.
The board of Planned Parenthood fired Dr. Wen, 36, in July after sharp disagreements over what officials there described as her abrasive and flawed management style. Dr. Wen blamed her sacking on disagreements over her reorienting the organization further from abortion politics and more toward its role as a women’s health provider.
In her letter, Dr. Wen wrote she believed that de-emphasizing “abortion care is the best way to protect it.” “However,” she went on, “there is a vocal minority” including many national staff and board members “who prefer a stridently political, abortion-first philosophy.” (NYT)
While she said she had “no desire to harm the organization,” she did signal that legal action could be forthcoming.
“I have no desire to file claims against Planned Parenthood for defamation, retaliation, or discrimination,” she wrote.
On Twitter, Wen expressed her disappointment that her letter was leaked.
I am very disappointed that my confidential letter to @PPFA Board is leaked to @nytimes. There should be no dispute regarding the terms of my employment contract. I will not be forced to sign a gag clause and compromise my integrity. Full statement here. pic.twitter.com/P6MaH1Hnke
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) September 14, 2019
Planned Parenthood disputed Wen’s claims in a statement to the Times, calling her accusations “unfortunate, saddening, and simply untrue.”
Last week, Wen announced both her new position as a visiting professor at George Washington University and that she is pregnant.