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Wen's Ouster and Ex-Planned Parenthood Insider Make It Clear: 'They're Really Not in the Business of Promoting Healthcare'


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The controversy over the recent ouster of Planned Parenthood's president has sparked fresh debate over the organization's top mission. 

The group has long argued it's about providing health care, but when Dr. Leana Wen tried to make that Planned Parenthood's main message, she soon found out that its real mission is protecting abortion.

Wen wrote about her tumultuous 10 months with the organization in a New York Times opinion piece. "In the end, I was asked to leave for the same reason I was hired: I was changing the direction of Planned Parenthood," she said.

Wen cited philosophical differences stemming around her desire to de-politicize the organization and focus on a wide range of policies that affect women's health.

She wrote, "The new board leadership has determined that the priority of Planned Parenthood moving forward is to double down on abortion rights advocacy."

Steve Aden, chief legal officer for Americans United for Life, told CBN News Tuesday that Wen fundamentally misunderstood Planned Parenthood.

"The mistake that Dr. Wen made is, unfortunately, the same mistake that thousands of American women make every year," he said. "She trusted Planned Parenthood when Planned Parenthood said it's all about women's healthcare."

Pro-life advocate Abby Johnson used to lead a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas before she changed course, quitting her job and committing to a pro-life understanding of abortion. She told CBN News on Tuesday that Wen's departure sets the stage for Planned Parenthood's direction going forward.

"I thought it was an interesting move when Planned Parenthood hired Dr. Leana Wen. I think they were trying to give themselves some credibility. But they really need an activist because they're really not in the business of promoting healthcare, even of providing standard healthcare. They're in the business of abortion," she said.

Wen's departure comes as Planned Parenthood faces mounting challenges. Already this year, nine states have passed abortion restrictions. 

In Arkansas on Monday, a Planned Parenthood attorney argued against a new law requiring abortion doctors to be board-certified and board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology.

Wen had advocated reaching out to those with more nuanced views on abortion, arguing there's space in the middle for those with shared concerns about women's health.

In her op-ed, she warned abortion supporters "we need to stop treating those whose views differ from our own with scorn and suspicion and instead work together to safeguard our health, our rights, and our future."
But in the end, Wen's departure as president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood highlights what critics have said all along – it prioritizes abortion first and foremost.

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About The Author


Heather Sells covers wide-ranging stories for CBN News that include religious liberty, ministry trends, immigration, and education. She’s known for telling personal stories that capture the issues of the day, from the border sheriff who rescues migrants in the desert to the parents struggling with a child that identifies as transgender. In the last year, she has reported on immigration at the Texas border, from Washington, D.C., in advance of the Dobbs abortion case, at crisis pregnancy centers in Massachusetts, and on sexual abuse reform at the annual Southern Baptist meeting in Anaheim