Written by Chris Manion
August 25, 2021
Published from Population Research Institute


On July 16, 2019, Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, was fired from her position by what she called a “secret meeting” of the organization’s Board of Directors.

The group’s public explanation focused on her inadequate management skills.

Wen replied that she left due to “philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.” The organization wanted to prioritize “abortion care” while she wanted to advocate for a “broad range of public health policies,” she said.

Case closed? Maybe not. Because just eleven days before being fired, Wen had written an op-ed for the Washington Post in which she disclosed that she had recently suffered a miscarriage that was “devastating in a way that I couldn’t have anticipated.”

And now, two years later, in a book that is Amazon’s “#1 New Release in Health Care,” Wen tells the rest of the story.

After her miscarriage, Wen shared her pain with a colleague at work. The word eventually reached Planned Parenthood’s Board of Directors. They had already decided that she was out, and their lawyers were talking to her lawyers about how she could go quietly.

All that changed when the Board learned the news about her miscarriage, Wen says that they now wanted to allege that her departure was connected with, or even motivated by, her loss.

With that, Dr. Wen submitted the op-ed to the Post — “so as not to have this deeply personal experience stolen from me. … I could not fathom the additional trauma if this news were made public by others who wished to use it for their own purposes,” she now writes.


The Good Doctor’s Multitude of Sins

And those “others”? What were their “purposes”?

They were unforgiving. Wen and her husband had been hoping to have a third child for a long time. Her loss was profound, and she said so. Even worse, her genuine expression of grief in losing her baby caused some strident abortion supporters to accuse her of “stigmatizing” abortion. “Why did she write about it at all,” they asked, since her powerful testimony confirming the pain of the loss of her baby might have unintended consequences.

Like what?

Her candor — indeed, her honesty — might cause women contemplating abortion to think twice. Clearly, many regarded Dr. Wen as a role model, and viewed Planned Parenthood as their champion of “abortion rights.” And yet, here was their inspiration, admitting the heartbreak of losing an unborn child, the very loss that they were about to experience themselves.

And that isn’t all. Women who had suffered at the hands of an abortionist might recover the remorse that they had heretofore desperately tried to forget. If that painful memory were rekindled, they might become less callous, even more disenchanted with “abortion rights” as their hearts inclined to genuine healing.

And the strident advocates of abortion? How could they not be angry; first, for being confronted with the very possibility of regret for having supported the “procedure” for which they had long encouraged women to be proud — after all, weren’t they exercising “control over their own bodies”?

Dr. Wen’s genuine and truly human testimony regarding the loss of her baby, the child she and her husband had already loved so much, makes sense to any mom or dad.

Who could resent that fundamental human desire? Would some ardent abortion advocates quench that flame and harbor resentment instead?  Dr. Wen’s personal experience introduced with authority the possibility that what the industry calls “products of conception” are in fact a baby, a human being, a child whose loss brought trauma and heartache, even to an acclaimed leader of the pro-abortion movement?

If Dr. Wen’s personal story received widespread attention, how would that make those advocates look in the eyes of women who realized that they shared the same sentiments?

Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher observes that Dr. Wen is guilty of another unforgivable transgression of the abortion movement’s narrative: “Her other crime was that she wanted a third child. That meant that she was not only not sticking with Planned Parenthood’s unofficial one-child policy, or even ‘replacing’ herself and her husband by having two children. By wanting a third child, she was revealing that she was a ‘breeder,’ determined to destroy Planet Earth by her irresponsible procreating. She had to go.”

Yes, she had to go, and fast. Because, given Dr. Wen’s first-person testimony, everybody in the pro-abortion movement would have real reason to pause because this woman whom they all admired had revealed a forbidden truth. Instead of advocating abortion, they might start supporting crisis pregnancy centers.

And Planned Parenthood doesn’t want that to happen.

That’s why PRI helps Crisis Pregnancy Centers both at home and abroad, supporting them financially and donating Ultrasound machines and offering expert help to expectant mothers.

As soon as a mom contemplating abortion sees that “it’s a baby,” that evidence trumps any assertions of “choice” and “abortion care.”

Crisis pregnancy centers worldwide provide alternatives to the well-funded “population control,” pro-abortion organizations that receive hundreds of millions in taxpayer funding every year from the U.S. Government as well as from several governments in the European Union.

In the face of such competition, how have these small, private pro-life groups relying on small voluntary donations proven to be so effective?

They offer free care and guidance to expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy and beyond, unlike the abortionists whom the mothers never see again (nor do they want to). Crisis Pregnancy Centers offer classes, services, and counseling, along with professional assistance from doctors and nurses who volunteer their time to care for both mom and baby.

For women visiting for the first time, the question is often, “Am I pregnant?” Each center offers free Ultrasounds to answer that question. When the answer is “yes,” they can see their baby moving on the screen. And that’s when most of them, whatever prompted their visit, welcome with relief and joy the new life that is growing inside them.

Like Dr. Wen, they know: “It’s a baby!”

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