Planned Parenthood is looking for a new president and CEO – and one pro-life leader says it's likely because the woman who got booted wasn't "political" enough for the abortion giant.
Leana Wen, M.D. tweeted Tuesday that the Planned Parenthood board ended her employment after a "secret meeting," and that both parties were engaged in good faith negotiations about her departure based on "philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood." (See her statement upon stepping down.)
"It sounds like Dr. Wen wanted to place the organization or put the organization more in a mode of broad health care services for women overall, and the board of Planned Parenthood disagreed," says Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. "They [apparently] want to focus on abortion and stay political."
Jim Sedlak of American Life League shares a similar view: Dr. Wen attempted to associate Planned Parenthood with health care.
"Their board of directors," he says, "wanted Planned Parenthood to be the political activist organization fighting for every abortion every time and not try to turn it into a medical organization or a health care organization."
Lila Rose, president of the pro-life group Live Action, tweeted: "Planned Parenthood's priority will ALWAYS be abortion. Not their staff, not the health of women, not basic human decency. It's why hundreds of workers are leaving the abortion industry & why millions more Americans are becoming pro-life."
Wen had been on the job for less than a year.
"If they forced out Leana Wen because she wasn't political enough, certainly whoever is taking over in her absence is going to be following the dictates of the board," Tobias states.
Buzzfeed.com reports that, according to sources familiar with Wen's firing, "significant management issues" played a part in the board decision – as did her refusal to use "trans-inclusive" language in the organization's public information.
"… Wen sometimes went through Planned Parenthood's press releases and documents, deleting the word 'sexual' from the phrase 'sexual and reproductive health,' the source said. She also resisted using the word 'abortion' as a stand-alone term, preferring 'abortion care' or other phrases entirely," says Buzzfeed.
As for that "secret meeting," Tobias points out that Planned Parenthood is in the business of killing unborn children. "So I would not think it beneath them in any way to do anything underhanded, even if it was their president, who they apparently wanted to force out," she adds.
According to Washington Examiner, Alexis McGill Johnson, a board member at Planned Parenthood, was named acting president, effective immediately. Planned Parenthood's search for a new president and CEO will begin in 2020.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated with comments from Jim Sedlak.