Leana Wen apparently believed Planned Parenthood’s talking points about being a “trusted” healthcare provider and abortion being just a small part of what it does when she took up the role as CEO of the abortion chain in 2018.
But she quickly learned the truth: Aborting unborn babies is Planned Parenthood’s “core mission.”
In her new book “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health,” Wen described the criticism she received for focusing more on health care than abortions and politics during her eight months as CEO of Planned Parenthood, Insider reports.
Though Wen supports abortion, she said she thought she could create more public support for Planned Parenthood by emphasizing and expanding its non-controversial healthcare services – something she said many state affiliates agreed with her about.
So, during her first interview as CEO, that is what she did. Speaking with “The View” on ABC, Wen discussed the importance of women’s health care, birth control, pap smears, cancer screenings and other services, according to the report. Afterward, she thought she did well.
Then, she heard from upper level leadership.
According to her book, one board member texted her, “Next time, make sure you talk about abortion.”
“You need to talk about abortion at every media interview,” another leader said. “You’re the president of Planned Parenthood. People expect that from you.”
“Not saying ‘abortion’ sounds as if you’re ashamed of it,” a third Planned Parenthood leader 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,” yet another said to Wen.
Here’s more from the report:
Wen, who is pro-choice, took the stance that she and the organization should advocate for all reproductive health services, like birth control and sex ed, which could reach more people and help reduce the need for abortions.
She believed using “pro-abortion” language alienated people whose decision to get one was painful. And, she said, most Americans have complicated, nuanced views on abortion. She believed Planned Parenthood should meet them where they are, she thought.
Eventually, Wen said the board told her to change or leave, and she decided to leave. But while Wen was working with her lawyers on finalizing her departure – and grieving a recent miscarriage, the board voted to fire her instead. Wen said she learned about the vote from the New York Times.
Later, the New York Times reported on a leaked letter from Wen to the Planned Parenthood board of directors in which she accused them of trying to “buy [her] silence” by withholding her severance package as “ransom” to get her to sign a confidentiality agreement. Planned Parenthood said Wen’s accusations were “simply untrue.”
The board quickly replaced Wen with one of its own: Alexis McGill Johnson, a long-time board member with close ties to Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and others powerful elites. Her background is in politics.
Though Wen received little compassion or understanding from Planned Parenthood leadership, she said she still has “deep empathy” for its staff who “put themselves on the line for its mission,” according to Insider.
But she is far from alone in her complaints. A number of former Planned Parenthood employees have left the abortion chain complaining about its focus on abortion, money and power, not women’s healthcare.
The billion-dollar abortion chain aborts more unborn babies than any other group in the U.S. Its latest annual report, which is publicly available online, shows more than 354,000 abortions, about 40 percent of all abortions in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the same report showed that many of Planned Parenthood’s actual health services continue to decline. It provided less contraception, sterilizations, cancer screenings, adoption referrals and other women’s health services than the previous year, mirroring a continued downward trend.
Its patient numbers also have been dropping steadily over the past decade amid numerous reports of alleged unethical and illegal activities by Planned Parenthood, including selling aborted baby body parts, botching abortions that killed women, covering up the sexual abuse of minors, discriminating against pregnant and racial minority employees, exploiting young girls by selling cross-sex hormones and more.