Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen was fired Tuesday after less than a year in the position, with reports pointing to apparent philosophical disagreements between Wen and the organization about how to operate, according to The Hill.
Wen was apparently caught off guard by the nature of her termination, and said she was fired after a “secret meeting” by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America board.
“I just learned that the @PPFA Board ended my employment at a secret meeting,” Wen tweeted. “We were engaged in good faith negotiations about my departure based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.”
Politics or health care?
Wen’s dismissal is reportedly tied to a dispute over whether the fight for abortion rights should be framed as a health care issue, as Wen preferred, or a political issue, as PPFA seemed to prefer.
“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, and that we can expand support for reproductive rights by finding common ground with the large majority of Americans who understand reproductive health care as the fundamental care that it is,” Wen wrote in her official statement. “I am leaving because the new Board Chairs and I have philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.”
A New York Times report cited a source that spoke of “internal strife” within the organization, and the desire for a “more aggressive political leader to fight the efforts to roll back access to abortions.”
Who will replace her?
Planned Parenthood board member Alexis McGill Johnson will take over as acting president as the organization searches for a new president and CEO with the goal of appointing someone new to the post by the end of 2020.