Anti-abortion groups were quick to respond to Dr. Wen’s ouster on Tuesday. Americans United for Life, a leading anti-abortion legal firm, said in a statement that Dr. Wen “has consistently traded on her training as a physician to perpetuate Planned Parenthood’s falsehood that ‘abortion is health care.’’’ It promised to pursue court victories “until we reach a post-Roe v. Wade era.’’
The conservative anti-abortion push gained momentum after Brett M. Kavanaugh replaced Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court, giving conservatives a possible fifth vote to uphold new limits on abortion.
Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women for America, a conservative Christian advocacy group, said: “The problem for Planned Parenthood is not its leadership. The problem is that science and technology have exposed the savagery of the abortion industry. Women know we deserve better.”
Amanda Skinner, the president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Southern New England, said the attacks from Republicans represented an “alarming” moment for abortion-rights supporters.
“This is a crisis time in terms of the impact on the patients we serve and the communities we serve,” she said, adding: “I think that Dr. Wen is obviously a very thoughtful leader in health care. I think what is critical for Planned Parenthood is how much we all have to really lean hard to all of the elements of our mission.” (Those elements are health care, education and advocacy.)
Planned Parenthood, a more than 100-year-old organization with 600 affiliated health centers nationwide, has simultaneously served as both a health care provider for millions — it provides cancer screenings, contraception, disease testing and abortion services — as well as one of the leading advocacy organizations for women’s reproductive rights.
The group’s board voted unanimously on Tuesday to appoint Alexis McGill Johnson, the co-founder of the Perception Institute, an anti-bias research group, to temporarily replace Dr. Wen. Ms. McGill Johnson will serve as acting president and chief executive of both Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nonprofit that provide health care services, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, its political arm.