Planned Parenthood CEO Ousted Over Health Remarks

Dr. Leana Wen. Image: Elvert Barnes, CC BY-SA 2.0

Washington (CNN) – Planned Parenthood has announced that the group’s president is leaving her position after less than a year on the job, at a time when Republicans across the US are moving to restrict access to abortion.

The leadership shakeup, announced Tuesday afternoon,  comes as the reproductive rights organization leads multiple court fights against various state laws restricting abortion, including Alabama’s near-total abortion ban and six-week abortion bans in Georgia and Ohio.

Dr. Leana Wen had been picked as the new president of the influential reproductive health organization in September 2018, replacing longtime head Cecile Richards.

‘Secret meeting’ alleged

In a tweet Tuesday, Wen alleged she had been ousted in a secretive meeting.

“I just learned that the @PPFA Board ended my employment at a secret meeting,” Wen said. “We were engaged in good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.”

The non-profit organization’s board of directors said Wen was departing her role effective immediately and that former Planned Parenthood board chair Alexis McGill Johnson had been named acting president.

What she said that got her fired 

“We thank Dr. Leana Wen for her service to Planned Parenthood in such a pivotal time and extend our best wishes for her continued success,” said Aimee Cunningham and Jennie Rosenthal, the chairs of the organization’s board of directors, in a statement.

Wen, a former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, hinted in a longer statement that differing views on how best to portray abortion to the public were a factor in her departure.

“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 healthcare as the fundamental healthcare that it is,” she wrote … Read more.