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Dr. Leana Wen Out as Planned Parenthood President

Dennis Carter

Dr. Leana Wen cited philosophical differences with new leadership on Planned Parenthood's board as the reason for her departure.

Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen parted ways with the organization on Tuesday.

Planned Parenthood named Alexis McGill Johnson as its acting president and CEO in the wake of Dr. Wen’s departure. McGill Johnson is a former board member of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and a former chair of the board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Dr. Wen said in a tweet that the health-care organization’s board ended her tenure in a “secret meeting” while she was negotiating an exit due to “philosophical differences.”

Dr. Wen, a former Baltimore health commissioner, was appointed as Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s president in 2018. She said in a Tuesday statement that she is leaving because of differences with new board chairs. She noted her belief that the “best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue but a health care one.” She added that bolstering support for reproductive rights meant “finding common ground with the large majority of Americans who understand reproductive health care as the fundamental health care that it is.”

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In January Dr. Wen reiterated her commitment to protecting abortion rights against a wave of anti-choice state-level restrictions after a report suggested she would move away from emphasizing abortion as a centerpiece of Planned Parenthood’s mission.

Planned Parenthood’s Tuesday statement said the search for a new president and CEO will start early next year. The organization said a new president will be in place by the end of 2020.

This is a developing story. Rewire.News will continue to report as more information emerges.

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