Daily on Healthcare, Presented by SBEC: Leana Wen Opens Up about Planned Parenthood Firing

By Leonard, Kimberly | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, November 11, 2019 | Go to article overview

Daily on Healthcare, Presented by SBEC: Leana Wen Opens Up about Planned Parenthood Firing


Leonard, Kimberly, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


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FORMER PLANNED PARENTHOOD PRESIDENT OPENS UP: Dr. Leana Wen learned she had been fired from Planned Parenthood when most other people did: when she received a New York Times alert about the ouster, she revealed in a podcast over the weekend.

Wen was speaking with Kevin Xu on the Model Majority Podcast that aired Sunday, where she described the whole experience around the firing as “traumatic,” and said she had not been able to accomplish her mission as president.

“I saw my mission at Planned Parenthood as repositioning the organization to be a mainstream health organization rather than be seen as a stridently progressive and political organization,” she said.

Wen was attacked by all sides after the firing, which also came at a time that was difficult personally for her. Only a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a miscarriage.

But in the days and weeks that followed, she said, she wanted to refrain from personal attacks and instead focus her public statements on the general philosophical differences that had emerged within the organization.

Her lessons, she said, came from Elijah Cummings, the recently deceased Democratic congressman from Baltimore. Cummings was a mentor to Wen, who had led the Baltimore health department before heading to Planned Parenthood.

“He often talked about how we cannot control a lot about our lives, but there are things that are in our control. And those things include how we choose to live the life that we have, and how we must always let our conscience guide our conduct,” she said.

Wen’s son Eli is named after Cummings because she said she wanted to raise him to grow up to be a “fighter against injustices but who always did so with authenticity and who really is the model of the person who has the biggest heart of anyone that we know.”

She also announced on the podcast that she’s expecting her second child, a girl, in March.

Good morning and welcome to the Washington Examiner’s Daily on Healthcare! This newsletter is written by senior healthcare reporter Kimberly Leonard (@LeonardKL) and healthcare reporter Cassidy Morrison (@CassMorrison94). You can reach us with tips, calendar items, or suggestions at dailyonhealthcare@washingtonexaminer.com. If someone forwarded you this email and you’d like to receive it regularly, you can subscribe here.

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