Planned Parenthood removed its president, Dr. Leana Wen, Tuesday after appointing her less than one year ago.
What We Know:
- Wen announced her departure in a Tweet on Tuesday. She claimed that the Board decided to remove her during a “secret meeting” due to fundamental philosophical differences about the nature of Planned Parenthood’s work; “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,” Wen said. Unfortunately, Board Chairs believe the future of Planned Parenthood is more politically oriented.
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) July 16, 2019
- Wen was appointed president in November 2018, taking over for Cecile Richards; Wen was the first physician to ever lead the organization. A source told the NBC News that the Board had concerns about Wen’s political ability, as politics is equally as important as the medical management of the organization.
- The source added that Wen’s removal was more focused on management and leadership choices she had made throughout the year, primarily her new hires. There have been rumors about problems with Wen’s leadership style for some time; Employees of the company worried Wen wasn’t equipped to handle the political backlash under the Trump administration.
- Wen will be immediately be replaced by Alexis McGill Johnson, who has served as a Planned Parenthood board member for years and was the Board Chair from 2013-2015; Planned Parenthood will begin the search for a new full-time president and CEO next year, hoping for a new president by the end of the year.
Wen has asserted she is thankful for her time at the organization and will continue to advocate for women’s rights.