In July, California Family Council reported that Leana Wen, then President of Planned Parenthood was abruptly fired by Planned Parenthood’s two boards — Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The two boards met July 16 in an emergency session and voted to terminate Wen, however she refused to resign, and was promptly fired that same day.
Shortly after her termination, Wen issued a statement, stating her and Planned Parenthood parted ways over major “philosophical differences:”
Planned Parenthood has not denied her claim.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, Wen explained that her hope as the President of Planned Parenthood was to make the organization a provider of “full spectrum healthcare” to low-income women. However, Wen stated that she encountered “daily internal opposition from those who saw my goals as mission creep,” and that her de-emphasis on politicizing abortion did not go over well with other Planned Parenthood officials.
“There was even more criticism as we worked to change the perception that Planned Parenthood was just a progressive political entity and show that it was first and foremost a mainstream health-care organization,” Wen said.
Wen was the organization’s first doctor to hold the position in over fifty years. The fact that Planned Parenthood hired came as a surprise to some, because of how different Wen was from her predecessor, Cecile Richards. Planned Parenthood’s board may have thought they were getting an activist who was also a doctor, but Wen wanted to focus on provided a full range of women’s healthcare options, including abortion. Many of Wen’s activist statements concerning abortion sounded forced, and apparently Wen was not the activist that Planned Parenthood wanted.
The National Catholic Register noted abortion activists have a majority control of Planned Parenthood’s two boards of directors. Planned Parenthood’s decision to move Alexis McGill Johnson – herself an experienced political activist – from the board into the position as interim president is itself an indication that Planned Parenthood intents to actively continue politically promulgating.