Planned Parenthood Announces Its New President

Desiree Burns
September 13, 2018

In a new video from Planned Parenthood trumpeting that for the first time in fifty years, a doctor, Leanna Wen, will serve as the organization's president, Wen manages to utter what may be the most hypocritical statement of any public figure in years, boasting she fights for the "most vulnerable" in our society. She will take the helm of the organization in the midst of a tough political climate, at a time when Republicans are increasingly targeting Planned Parenthood's inclusion in public health and family planning programs as a result of their ideological opposition to abortion.

The organisation also is the largest provider of abortions in the USA, making it a perennial target for anti-abortion activists.

Dr. Wen, the health commissioner of Baltimore, relates in an announcement video that her family arrived in the USA from China and were granted political asylum and became citizens in 2003.

Wen graduated from California State University, Los Angeles at the age of 18 and went to medical school at Washington University. She expanded trauma and mental health services, and secured funding for a programme created to treat gun violence as a contagious disease. Prior to her tenure as Baltimore health commissioner, Wen was an emergency room doctor at two hospitals in the Boston area, including Massachusetts General Hospital. But she said she could not resist the new job offer.

Wen will be the first physician to serve as Planned Parenthood's president in almost 50 years.

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"Growing up, Dr. Wen, as well as her mother and sister, relied on Planned Parenthood for health care", according to Planned Parenthood's announcement.

Representative Elijah Cummings, a Democratic congressman from Baltimore, praised the appointment, saying of Wen, "When it comes to protecting her patients, she doesn't back down from a fight".

"After considering some truly formidable women, the search committee unanimously, even joyfully selected Dr. Leana Wen", Anna Quindlen, chair of the Planned Parenthood search committee, said in a statement.

The city of Baltimore sued the Trump administration, on behalf of Wen and the health department, for cutting short federal grants for teen pregnancy prevention. Abortion-rights advocates fear that Kavanaugh will tilt the high court to the right, possibly opening the way for rulings that would reverse or weaken the 1973 Roe v Wade decision that established a nationwide right for women to have abortions.

Cecile Richards, the outgoing president of Planned Parenthood, wrote in a Wednesday tweet that she "couldn't be prouder" to welcome Wen into the role.

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