Planned Parenthood president Dr Leana Wen, the group’s most vocal abortion rights activist, has been forced to step down due ‘philosophical differences’ concerning the future of the organization.
Dr Wen, 36, broke the news on Tuesday afternoon in a tweet, saying: ‘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,’ Dr Wen continued.
It comes amid the most challenging period in the history of the organization since Roe v Wade in 1974, with anti-abortion measures sweeping the country, and six states on the cusp of shuttering their last remaining abortion clinics.
Sources told the
Dr Leana Wen was appointed president of Planned Parenthood less than a year ago in September 2018, following a stint as Health Commissioner of Baltimore City in Maryland
Dr Wen broke the news of her firing herself via a statement on Twitter
Dr Wen, the first doctor to hold the post in years, was appointed less than a year ago in September 2018, and took the role in November, following a stint as Health Commissioner of Baltimore City in Maryland.
Dr Wen took the post weeks after Brett Kavanaugh was controversially named a Supreme Court judge, giving anti-abortion conservatives an unprecedented majority on the most powerful board in the US.
His appointment empowered anti-abortion groups to aggressively intensify campaigns and legal moves to restrict abortion nationwide.
- Missouri faces a legal battle on August 1 that could leave the state with no clinics permitted to perform abortions,
- six states – Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio – have passed ‘heartbeat bills’, making abortion illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detectable (usually around six weeks, which is before most women know they are pregnant)
- Texas advanced legislation (that was ultimately shut down) to make abortions punishable by death penalty
In May, Planned Parenthood, led by Dr Wen, declared a state of emergency to rally people behind their cause.
But critics say Dr Wen has struggled to cultivate a political voice and truly galvanize people to front a movement.