Reproductive rights advocates worry that a recent BuzzFeed headline will obfuscate the direction of Planned Parenthood Federation of America under its new president, Dr. Leana Wen, who on Tuesday reiterated that fighting anti-choice policies would remain a central focus of the health-care organization in 2019.
The BuzzFeed article, published Monday afternoon with the headline “Planned Parenthood’s New President Wants To Focus On Nonabortion Health Care,” suggested Wen and her leadership team would move away from expanding access to abortion care as a central piece of the organization’s mission, by expanding services like mental health counseling, opioid addiction treatment, and diabetes treatment.
Wen, the former Baltimore health commissioner who was appointed as the organization’s president after Cecile Richards stepped down in 2018, emphasized in the article that Planned Parenthood would not shift away from its prominent role in providing reproductive health-care services, including abortion.
“The last thing I would want is people to get the impression that we are backing off of our core services,” Wen told BuzzFeed. “What we will always be here to do is provide abortion access as part of the full spectrum of reproductive health care, it’s who we are. But we also recognize that for so many of our patients we are their only source of health care.”
The BuzzFeed article outlines the ways in which Planned Parenthood will expand its non-abortion health-care offerings—services already available through many affiliates throughout the country. In a series of tweets Tuesday, Wen said headlines like BuzzFeed‘s “completely misconstrue” her vision as leader of Planned Parenthood.
“First, our core mission is providing, protecting and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care. We will never back down from that fight – it’s a fundamental human right and