Ex-Planned Parenthood Head Blasted for Saying Abortion Should Be ‘Rare’

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Ex-Planned Parenthood Head Blasted for Saying Abortion Should Be ‘Rare’

Ex-Planned Parenthood Head Blasted for Saying Abortion Should Be ‘Rare’

The former head of Planned Parenthood ignited a debate on Twitter Tuesday by saying she believes abortion should be “rare” – language that was once common among Democrats but isn’t as popular nowadays.

Leana Wen, who was ousted as president of the organization this year, tweeted that she agreed with Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who said during the debate abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” Gabbard attributed the line to Hillary Clinton, who indeed has repeated it although it was popularized in the 1990s by her husband, President Bill Clinton.

“I don’t agree with @TulsiGabbard on a lot, but do appreciate that she brought up the third rail for Democrats: that abortion should be ‘safe, legal, and rare.’ We should reduce the need for abortions by investing in prevention,” Wen wrote.

Gabbard also said she opposed third-trimester abortions with exceptions for the woman’s life and severe health consequences. Wen cheered Gabbard on that topic, although she didn’t say whether she agreed with her.

“Was also courageous @TulsiGabbard to bring up nuances,” tweeted Wen, who is now a visiting professor at George Washington University. “Most Americans hold complex truths: they can both personally oppose abortion & support others’ right to choose; they can both feel uncomfortable about abortion & not want women to die from back-alley procedures.”

Most pro-choicers on Wen’s timeline disagreed with her. 

“Keep your judgemental attitude out of my uterus. Along with that Kook Tulsi,” tweeted writer Melinda Byerley

Another writer, Lauren Rankin, also criticized Wen.

“This framing is harmful, stigmatizing, and feeds the anti-choice narrative that abortion is inherently bad,” Rankin tweeted. “It’s not. And for someone who used to lead a reproductive health organization, you should know the consequences of that kind of rhetoric.”

But Wen, upon seeing negative reaction to her comments, said pro-choicers must reach out to voters who have different opinions.

“The replies to my tweet about a rational view of abortion as ‘safe, legal & rare’ are why I wrote this op-ed,” Wen tweeted, referencing an earlier column. “Pro-choice & progressive movements will lose unless we allow more people to join who do not agree 100% with the most extreme ideology.”

Wen added, “If we understand reproductive healthcare to be the standard healthcare that it is, then use the language of public health. Take heart surgery. It’s a procedure that should be available if needed, but prevention is the best medicine. Access is not in conflict with prevention.”


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Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy/Staff

Ex-Planned Parenthood Head Blasted for Saying Abortion Should Be ‘Rare’