Why Did Planned Parenthood Fire Leana Wen?

Why Did Planned Parenthood Fire Leana Wen?
Leana Wen attends the TIME 100 Gala Red Carpet at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on April 23, 2019. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)
NTD Photo

Former Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen was fired after concerns over her management style emerged and staff relations became increasingly tense, sources familiar with the matter said.

Wen said after the ousting she was “leaving the organization sooner than [she’d] hoped” due to “philosophical differences about the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.” The organization noted in its announcement that the acting president, Alexis Gill Johnson, is a “renowned social justice leader, lifelong political organizer and a tireless advocate for healthcare.”

Wen and Planned Parenthood allegedly engaged in closed-door meetings before the firing, a source close to the matter told BuzzFeed News—meetings that resulted in the organization asking Wen to resign.

Planned Parenthood removed Wen largely because of her issues managing Planned Parenthood, six sources told BuzzFeed. Requests for anonymity were granted so sources could speak openly, the publication noted. A source also revealed Wen’s removal was likely accelerated by the intense political climate surrounding abortion.

Planned Parenthood did not respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Wen alarmed officials at Planned Parenthood by allegedly hiring staff unfamiliar with the company and its political ideology in attempts to emphasize the organization is a health care provider, a former senior staff member said.

Though the board warned Wen earlier in 2019 regarding her alleged non-conformity and urged her to improve, Wen did not change, according to two sources.

Staff reportedly complained about what sources called a “handbook of issues”—personal office behavior she allegedly required staff to be aware of.

“The handbook was honestly just the beginning of her management issues,” one of the sources said. “[expletive] 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 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.

She also allegedly shied away from “trans-inclusive” language and told staff transgender issues might deter Planned Parenthood supporters in the Midwest, two sources told BuzzFeed.

planned parenthood to close
The exterior of a Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St Louis, Mo., on May 28, 2019. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

The sources said 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.

Wen’s media team directed the DCNF to her statement, which has been included.

By Mary Margaret Olohan

Follow Mary Margaret on Twitter.

From The Daily Caller News Foundation

“Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].”

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