by Kelvey Vander Hart
Two months after being fired from the organization, former Planned Parenthood president Dr. Leana Wen has accused the abortion giant of trying to buy her silence.
Wen, who recently announced that she is pregnant with her second child, is still in the process of negotiating her severance package. She has accused Planned Parenthood of threatening to withhold health insurance and severance payout unless she agrees to sign an additional confidentiality agreement.
These accusations were aired in a leaked letter Wen wrote to Planned Parenthood’s board of directors. “No amount of money can ever buy my integrity and my commitment to the patients I serve,” she stated.
Melanie Newman, a senior vice president for communications at Planned Parenthood, disputed Wen’s accusation:
The attorneys representing the board have made every good faith effort to amicably part from Dr. Wen, and are disappointed that they have been unable to reach a suitable resolution regarding her exit package.
Wen was fired in July after she made continuous efforts to orient Planned Parenthood away from abortions and toward healthcare. She has stated that she believes de-emphasizing abortion is the best way to “protect it,” but that “there is a vocal minority” of the organization’s staff and board “who prefer a stridently political, abortion-first philosophy.”
She also penned an opinion piece for The Washington Post discussing her miscarriage. This piece seemed to anger Planned Parenthood leadership, especially since she repeatedly humanized her unborn baby throughout her story.
Planned Parenthood is contractually obligated to provide severance and continued health coverage to Wen. She argues that threatening to withhold such contractually-guaranteed provisions is “unethical.” Wen even compared the organization to the Trump administration’s supposed gag order:
It is deeply hypocritical [that Planned Parenthood] would attempt to enforce a gag order on its immediate past President/CEO while fighting the Trump administration’s gag rule on Title X providers.
Planned Parenthood spokesmen state that the severance package will be finalized in the coming days.
Wen announced on Thursday that she now holds a visiting professor position at George Washington University. Replacing her at Planned Parenthood is the new acting president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson. Johnson formerly served on the boards of both the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Photo credit: American Life League via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0