Pro-life groups are claiming Dr. Leana Wen's firing as Planned Parenthood president as a victory.
“Planned Parenthood’s ejection of its new president after less than a year is unsurprising given the friction we’ve seen over those months. Abortion is not health care and dressing it up in a white coat has not fooled the American people, so they fall back on the mainstay of their political machine,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement on Tuesday. “It is a sign that the abortion giant still overestimates its power in the new environment ushered in by the Trump administration – and that momentum is on the side of life. As our nation moves toward a legal consensus that is increasingly protective of unborn children at every stage, the abortion lobby insists that legislators have no right to intervene. The American people, through their elected representatives, are speaking clearly and deserve to be heard.”
Wen announced that she was fired on Tuesday in a very candid, very bitter message. The doctor claimed that the company's board decided to terminate her employment during a "secret" meeting. In a fuller statement about their decision, Wen revealed that "philosophical differences" spurred the decision. To paraphrase, she hoped to pursue a range of reproductive services, but the board was obsessed with abortion.
To all my colleagues at Planned Parenthood, the tens of thousands of dedicated people who are on the frontlines every day, providing life-saving, life-transforming care and fighting to protect access to that care: you are my heroes. Thank you for what you do. pic.twitter.com/6N4RMiTQAG— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) July 16, 2019
A new BuzzFeed report offered some more interesting insight. According to their sources, Wen was dismissed after refusing to adopt the company's politically correct language.
Two sources told BuzzFeed News that Wen also refused to use “trans-inclusive” language, for example saying “people” instead of “women” and telling staff that she believed talking about transgender issues would “isolate people in the Midwest.” For a period of a few months, Wen sometimes went through Planned Parenthood’s press releases and documents, deleting the word “sexual” from the phrase “sexual and reproductive health,” the source said. She also resisted using the word “abortion” as a stand-alone term, preferring “abortion care” or other phrases entirely.
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood worker turned pro-life advocate, knows exactly what Wen is talking about. She knows how the company operates, and she reached out to the doctor.
Leana, I know exactly how Planned Parenthood works and know ALL about their secret meetings. If you ever want to talk about your experience (in complete confidence), I’m here. I will help in any way I can through your transition. ??— Abby Johnson (@AbbyJohnson) July 16, 2019
American Life League President Judie Brown also congratulated Wen for escaping the "devil's lair." In a statement on Wednesday, Brown said she's glad that the doctor now knows that "Planned Parenthood is not now, nor has it ever been, a healthcare organization."
"Congratulations Dr. Wen, you’re out of the devil’s lair," Brown said. "We wish you a long and rewarding career in real medicine."
Wen was the first physician to lead Planned Parenthood in almost 50 years. Alexis McGill Johnson, a former board member of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, was named acting president and CEO.
Pro-lifers have other reasons to celebrate this week. The Trump administration announced it is going forward with its Protect Life Rule, which would prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding abortions in the Title X family planning program. Planned Parenthood had no plans to cooperate.
Editor's Note: This piece has been updated with additional pro-life reaction.