Planned Parenthood ousted its President/CEO, Dr. Leana Wen, after a dispute over the direction of the nation’s largest abortion provider.
The news broke Tuesday afternoon, when Wen tweeted, “I just learned that the @PPFA Board ended my employment at a secret meeting. We were engaged in good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood. My statement to come shortly.” The move comes just eight months after Wen accepted the post.
I just learned that the @PPFA Board ended my employment at a secret meeting. We were engaged in good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood. My statement to come shortly.— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) July 16, 2019
She later released a statement in which she said that she was stepping down, again citing “philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.” In the statement, she elaborated on those differences, saying, “I believe that the best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue, but a health care one, and that we can expand support for reproductive rights by finding common ground with the large majority of Americans who understand reproductive health care as the fundamental health care that it is.”
Four people with insider information about the negotiations told the New York Times that the board of directors wanted a more confrontational approach in light of legislation aimed at abolishing abortion passed through several state legislatures this spring. In addition, many see the conservative majority on the Supreme Court as being more open to hearing a challenge to Roe v. Wade.
Wen’s departure also came the day after the Trump administration implemented a new measure aimed at cutting off family planning clinics who offer abortion services and referrals. The new rule will cost Planned Parenthood $60 million in federal funding every year. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals paved the way for the implementation of the rule after they declined to block the Trump administration from enforcing the policy.
Some Twitter users noted the irony of the Planned Parenthood CEO losing her job after a closed-door meeting. One user said, “Terminated without consent. Wow. Interesting to be on the “baby’s side of things.”
Terminated without consent. Wow. Interesting to be on the “baby’s” side of things. #Karma— Mishka (@MishkaInLA) July 16, 2019
Another responded, “Don’t think of it as being fired, think of it as @PPFA exercising their right to choose.”
The board announced that Alexis McGill Johnson will serve as acting president and that the search for a new president would not begin until early 2020.
Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris/Staff