Cheers have been coming from many on the right as Planned Parenthood removed their president after less than a year. Dr. Leana Wen was ousted in what she called a “secret meeting” during negotiations with the board. They were allegedly working out an amicable exit plan after conflicts with staff, but the real story is likely much more sinister.
Her temporary replacement, Alexis McGill Johnson, is a political machine. If the official replacement is anything like her, it will mark a departure of Planned Parenthood’s recent shift towards women healthcare advocacy and replace it with the politics usually associated with direct lobbying groups. If that happens, we’re going to see a sharp increase in the way Planned Parenthood operates as a whole.
They’ve had setbacks for the last couple of years as new rules and cuts in federal funding have been seen as political retribution following the release of undercover videos showing representatives of Planned Parenthood negotiating the sale of baby body parts. Ousting Wen after such a short tenure is unlikely a result of poor management skills, as the organization is saying. Instead, they’re viewing the closures of Planned Parenthood clinics and the rise of anti-abortion legislation at the state level as a sign they need to ramp up their political efforts. Dr. Wen is not a political leader.
Johnson is. If she’s not made the permanent president, then whoever replaces her will be political as well. The board has seen an opportunity in a Democratic Party that no longer accepts pro-life members as a way of becoming even more powerful and holding more clout over the national conversation. By focusing on political clout over healthcare, they will be able to wield real power over policy and help Democrats win elections.
Dr. Wen is a women’s health ideologue. Her replacement will be a progressive political strategist who will turn their advocacy into the most powerful leftist lobbying group in DC. Keep an eye on Planned Parenthood now more than ever.
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