Sudden Ouster of Planned Parenthood Physician President ‘Desperate Attempt to Regain Political Power’

Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, speaks during a press conference on the reintroduction of the "Women's Health Protection Act at the House Triangle of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on May 23, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

The sudden ouster this week of the first physician president Planned Parenthood has had in decades underscores the priority of America’s largest abortion provider is protecting its political power.

Planned Parenthood board chairs described Alexis McGill Johnson – tapped to lead the organization for the time being after the sudden dismissal Tuesday of Dr. Leana Wen – as a “renowned social justice leader” and “tireless advocate for reproductive rights.”

Johnson’s views are predominantly in line with those of the radical Democrat Party.

Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said Johnson “appears to be more politically connected than Wen.”

As the pro-life watchdog group observed, Opensecrets.org shows Johnson contributed to the political campaigns of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ($500); Hillary Clinton ($2,700); Sen. Kamala Harris ($2,800); Sen. Jeff Merkley ($2,600); and former Sen. Claire McCaskill ($2,700).

The acting president of Planned Parenthood also contributed to the campaigns of pro-abortion rights Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

“We can expect to see a more aggressive political and legal agenda from Planned Parenthood under Johnson,” said Newman, adding:

We are getting a glimpse of the disarray and division within Planned Parenthood’s ranks. What we are seeing right now is a desperate attempt to regain political power it lost when President Trump took office in 2017. They are willing to throw anyone and everyone under the bus to get that power back.

Wen, whose tenure lasted less than a year, initially referred in a tweet to the reason for her ouster as “philosophical differences” with the board, but then elaborated on that reference in a three-page letter to Planned Parenthood colleagues and supporters.

Wen explained:

One year ago, when I came in front of the Search Committee selecting Planned Parenthood’s next President, I posed this question: Did they see Planned Parenthood as an advocacy organization first, with medical services that are necessary to strengthen its impact, or did they see Planned Parenthood as a health care organization first, with advocacy as a necessary vehicle to protect rights and access?

Wen said she believed she was coming in as Planned Parenthood president to “run a national health care organization and to advocate for the broad range of public health policies that affect our patients’ health.”

“The new Board leadership has determined that the priority of Planned Parenthood moving forward is to double down on abortion rights advocacy,” she said.

The struggle between Wen and the Planned Parenthood boards became palpable in January after Wen’s interview with BuzzFeed News that was published with the headline, “Planned Parenthood’s New President Wants to Focus on Nonabortion Health Care.”

Following its publication, however, Wen tweeted the headline “completely misconstrue[d] my vision for Planned Parenthood.”

The physician then made what may be the most memorable announcement of her tenure at Planned Parenthood: Abortion is “our core mission.”

A report at Politico Wednesday indicated a former Planned Parenthood employee denied the existence of “philosophical differences” between Wen and the board. The anonymous ex-staff member described Wen as an “incompetent manager” who has done significant “damage” to the organization.

If the board had been focused on ensuring Planned Parenthood’s status as a true healthcare organization worthy of at least a half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding, however, then the “damage” had been done during the dozen years when Cecile Richards presided over the group, turning it into a Democrat Party political activist giant.

While Planned Parenthood continues to present itself superficially as the trusted healthcare provider of American women, the organization, including Wen, has also insisted – using a since-debunked statistic – that abortion represents only a mere three percent of its services.

In recent years, Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports have told the story of the decline in its healthcare services as the number of abortions performed in its clinics has increased.

The organization’s most recent 2017-2018 report showed Planned Parenthood performed 11,373 more abortions than in the previous year, as it also took in $1.67 billion in revenue.

The group also failed to go along with the trend in the nation as a whole when it comes to abortions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report in November that revealed the number of abortions in the United States had reached its lowest level since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973. However, the number of abortions Planned Parenthood performed had increased.

In contrast to the 332,757 abortions performed in 2017-2018, Planned Parenthood stated it performed only 216,722 “well-woman exams,” significantly fewer for an organization that claims to be primarily a woman’s healthcare provider.

The organization performed 9,055 “prenatal services,” in 2017-2018, 1,293 more than the previous year, but still far below its number of abortions performed and a significant drop from the 17,419 “prenatal services” the group claimed in 2014-2015.

A 2017 study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, found that Planned Parenthood depends primarily on its abortion-centered business model – and is not a significant provider of medical care in the United States, despite its self-promotion as an “irreplaceable” and “life-saving” healthcare provider, as Wen and other Planned Parenthood officials profess.

The report observed that Planned Parenthood provides less than 1.4 percent of the nation’s HIV tests and less than one percent of pap tests.

Additionally, in the last five years, service-to-client ratios for breast exams and pap tests have declined by 37 percent.

“There is little or no demonstrable capability for definitive diagnosis or a range of treatments for any disease or condition at Planned Parenthood centers,” the CLI study’s authors wrote. “With the exception of abortion, Planned Parenthood does not provide any service that is not easily available from alternative providers.”

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