Why Did Planned Parenthood Fire Leana Wen?

by Mary Margaret Olohan


Former Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen was fired for her vision for the organization and for failing to comply with the organization’s political agenda, sources revealed to BuzzFeed News.

Wen and Planned Parenthood engaged in closed-door meetings over the past week, a source close to the matter told BuzzFeed – meetings that resulted in the organization asking Wen to resign. Wen refused and was removed from office Tuesday.

After the New York Times announced her departure, Wen tweeted that she was removed due to “philosophical differences.”

She has not yet responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Planned Parenthood removed Wen largely because of her issues managing Planned Parenthood, six sources familiar with the matter allegedly told Buzzfeed. A source also revealed that Wen’s removal was probably accelerated by the intense political climate currently surrounding abortion.

Planned Parenthood did not respond to requests for comment from the DCNF.

Wen alarmed officials and staff at Planned Parenthood by immediately hiring staff unfamiliar with the company and its political ideology in attempts to emphasize that Planned Parenthood is a health care provider.

Though the board warned Wen early this year regarding her non-conformity and urged her to improve, Wen did not change anything according to two sources familiar with the situation.

The departures of Deirdre Schifeling, the former executive director of Planned Parenthood‘s political arm, and Wendi Wallace, Planned Parenthood’s former Director of Political Outreach, caused further alarm that Wen might topple the political monarchy former Planned Parenthood President Cecil Richards had created.

Staff reportedly complained about Wen’s “handbook of issues” – personal office behavior that she required staff to be aware of.

“The handbook was honestly just the beginning of her management issues,” the source familiar with the situation told BuzzFeed News. “Shit has been crazy, there was a whole system of insanity: a deep mistrust of staff, giving directives that made no sense, saying things that were factually inaccurate, saying one thing then saying something else completely, micromanaging control over what people were allowed to say and not say.”

Wen also reportedly did not care about “the long-term future of abortion access work that had already been going on, saying there was no budget for it,” the source told BuzzFeed.

But perhaps most significantly, Wen allegedly would not use “trans-inclusive” language and told staff that transgender issues might deter Planned Parenthood supporters in the Midwest, two sources told BuzzFeed.

The sources claim that Wen refused to say “people” instead of “women” and deleted the word “sexual” from the Planned Parenthood press releases and documents that included the phrase “sexual and reproductive health.”

Wen also preferred to use the phrase “abortion care” over “abortion,” the sources said.

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Mary Margaret Olohan is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Leana Wen” by Leana Wen. 




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