Leana Wen: Planned Parenthood Is Trying to 'Buy My Silence'

The organization's former president decried 'stridently political, abortion-first philosophy'

Leana Wen and Sen. Richard Blumenthal in Washington, DC / Getty Images
September 16, 2019

Leana Wen, who was president of Planned Parenthood until the organization fired her in July, alleged the abortion provider is trying to "buy" her silence, according to a document obtained by the New York Times.

Wen, who held the position for only eight months, attempted to turn Planned Parenthood's focus more toward becoming a "national health care organization" during her brief tenure. The move was not well-received, and Wen was soon ousted after she was deemed not "political" enough for the organization.

Now, in a 1,400-word letter addressed to Planned Parenthood’s board of directors, Wen alleges the organization is withholding her health insurance and severance package as a "ransom" until she signs a confidentiality agreement, the Times reports.

"No amount of money can ever buy my integrity and my commitment to the patients I serve," Wen wrote.

Planned Parenthood's board of directors disputed Wen's claim, stating to the Times: "Dr. Wen’s recent allegations are unfortunate, saddening, and simply untrue. 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's ouster came amid a period of turmoil for Planned Parenthood, as the pro-life movement saw gains in Ohio, Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, and Missouri this year. In her letter, Wen criticized board members who believed Planned Parenthood's best defense strategy was to promote abortion more aggressively.

She wrote that deemphasizing "abortion care is the best way to protect it," and she also called out the "vocal minority" of national staff and board members "who prefer a stridently political, abortion-first philosophy."

Wen suffered a miscarriage around the time she was fired. She recently posted on Twitter that she is pregnant again.

She alleges in her letter that Planned Parenthood's decision to withhold her coverage is "unethical" and "deeply hypocritical."