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Former Planned Parenthood President Says Abortion Provider Tried to Exploit Her Miscarriage

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Dr. Leana Wen, the short-lived president of Planned Parenthood, has revealed in her new book that the abortion giant tried to exploit her miscarriage for its benefit.


The former Baltimore health commissioner served a mere eight months as head of Planned Parenthood, from 2018 into 2019. When she left, Wen cited “philosophical differences” with the abortion business after the organization’s board voted her out of the lead position.

That, however, is not the narrative Planned Parenthood wanted the public to hear, according to Wen, who wrote about the ordeal in her new book, “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health.”

Wen claimed the organization urged her to blame her exit on grief from her miscarriage, which she was very open about.

The emergency physician wrote in a 2019 editorial for The Washington Post that she “felt numb” when she learned she had experienced a miscarriage, adding she penned the piece in order to “break the silence and shame that often come[s] with pregnancy loss.”

In her book, the emergency physician described her miscarriage as “devastating in a way that I couldn’t have anticipated,” noting her pain was only compounded when Planned Parenthood suggested she use the loss to explain away her departure from the company in July 2019.

“This was offensive and hurtful on so many levels,” she wrote.

Wen, who has two kids, wrote she “could not fathom the additional trauma if this news were made public by others who wished to use it for their own purposes.”

She ultimately made the decision to write The Post column “so as not to have this deeply personal experience stolen from me.”

“What cruelty would that be, to compound the trauma of my miscarriage with the indignity of a government investigation into my personal medical records?” the doctor wrote.

Wen was referring to the fact that some state-level abortion laws allow for investigations into women who have experienced miscarriages.

While Wen said her inbox was flooded with notes from thousands of people expressing their gratitude for her transparency, there were others — presumably, abortion supporters — who rebuked the now-former Planned Parenthood head for writing about the grief of miscarriage, arguing such a viewpoint stigmatizes abortion.

Anything Else?

In a separate column for The New York Times, Wen opened up about her abrupt departure from Planned Parenthood, which came in July 2019, when the board voted her out of the position — news she learned about via a push notification on her smartphone.

Wen said she wanted to separate Planned Parenthood from the political world in which it had become mired. She intended to turn the company from a “progressive political entity” into a “mainstream health care organization.” That mission, though, reportedly didn’t go over well.

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“[T]he team that I brought in, experts in public health and health policy, faced daily internal opposition from those who saw my goals as mission creep,” she wrote at the time. “There was even more criticism as we worked to change the perception that Planned Parenthood was just a progressive political entity and that it was first and foremost a mainstream health care organization.”

Although Wen supports abortion and its expansion, she told the company she didn’t see it as a “stand-alone issue.”

Wen has since been replaced with social justice advocate Alexis McGill Johnson.

Have you have had an abortion, are contemplating ending your pregnancy, or would like pregnancy-related resources, please click here.

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