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By Emily Ward, CNSNews, January 9, 2019
Planned Parenthood President
Leana Wen. (YouTube)
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen admitted that abortion access is her organization’s “core mission.”
“First, our core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care,” Wen tweeted. “We will never back down from that fight – it’s a fundamental human right and women’s lives are at stake.”
Wen’s tweet came in response to an article published by Buzzfeed News on Monday, which seemed to imply Planned Parenthood was shifting its focus away from abortion. The headline reads: “Planned Parenthood’s New President Wants to Focus on Nonabortion Health Care.”
In the sub-headline, reporter Ema O’Connor wrote, “The organization is still committed to providing abortions and reproductive care but Wen, the first female physician to run Planned Parenthood, is embarking on a cross-country listening tour to learn how best to add or expand nonabortion services.”
Wen, who started as Planned Parenthood president in November 2018, said the headline “completely” misconstrued her vision for the organization.
“I am always happy to do interviews, but these headlines completely misconstrue my vision for Planned Parenthood,” she wrote, adding that the organization would continue to fight for abortion on demand.
“There have been more than 400 abortion restrictions included in the states since 2011,” Wen wrote. “Serving our patients MUST include fighting those restrictions in legislatures and at the ballot box.”
In recent years, Planned Parenthood has said abortions make up only three percent of its revenue. Under Wen’s leadership, the organization has tried to paint itself as a harmless healthcare provider by emphasizing its nonabortion services, such as birth control and testing for sexually transmitted infections, and by adopting the slogan, “This is health care.”
However, Planned Parenthood continues to be the nation’s largest abortion provider. In 2016, it performed 321,384 abortions in the United States.
In her thread on Twitter, Wen asserted that while she does plan to continue expanding Planned Parenthood’s nonabortion services, abortion access is still a priority.
“For many of our patients, we are their primary source of health care,” Wen wrote. “That’s why we will continue to look for ways of expanding what we offer them, so we can treat the whole patient.”
“Tomorrow I kick off a tour of 20 affiliates in five months where I plan to highlight the ways Planned Parenthood is already doing this in communities across the country, and look for ways we can expand even further,” she continued.
“That’s exciting,” she added. “And it in no way means we are backing down from fighting for abortion access or from the important political work our advocacy organizations do.”