Though Planned Parenthood has selected emergency room physician Dr. Leana Wen to replace its previous political organizer president in hopes of improving its damaged image as an abortion corporation, it is still spouting the same false, well-rehearsed claims. Wen insists that abortion — the deliberate ending of a human life in the womb — is synonymous with standard medical care.
Wen’s claim was published in a press release from Planned Parenthood: “As a doctor, I know that services like cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and the full range of reproductive health care — including birth control and abortion — are standard medical care.” But there are several problems with this, and with Wen’s other claims, both in Planned Parenthood’s press release and a recent interview she gave to NPR’s 1A.
Here are six false claims made by new Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen — along with the facts:
False Claim #1: Planned Parenthood was founded by a “humanitarian” nurse who just wanted to help people with their health care.
Wen told NPR, “We were founded by a nurse who saw what happens when people don’t have access to basic health care….”
The facts: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was deeply entrenched in eugenics and brought this same evil ideology — and those who believed in it — into her organization. Sanger’s goal was to make certain that specific groups of people did not procreate, not to make sure they had “health care.” Live Action News has repeatedly documented Sanger’s belief in promoting forced sterilization, her aversion to the poor (including immigrants), her Ku Klux Klan interactions, and more.
Wen is either woefully ignorant of this history or is deliberately misleading people about it.
False Claim #2: “Planned Parenthood has never and never will sell fetal body parts. It is completely untrue – those lies have been discredited many times over.”
The facts: Wen is very good at parroting her Planned Parenthood predecessor’s talking points, but when the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released its disturbing (and forensically authenticated — so, the opposite of “discredited”) undercover videos showing high ranking Planned Parenthood staffers haggling over the price of fetal body parts and talking about using “less crunchy” methods for abortions to better preserve the aborted body parts that buyers want, then-CEO Cecile Richards, apologized for the “tone” of the Planned Parenthood staffer seen in the first CMP video. who discussed how to successfully harvest fetal livers while munching salad and sipping wine. Richards was later summoned before a Congressional panel to answer for the baby parts scandal, and this panel referred the organization for criminal charges.
False Claim #3: “The people that attack Planned Parenthood — they’re attacking basic health care.”
Wen elaborated in her NPR interview, claiming:
What we do is provide cancer screening. What we do is provide the full range of reproductive health care, from birth control to abortion. All of this is medical care. And, it is – to me, it’s so frustrating to see one aspect of healthcare singled out, stigmatized and attacked…. When people attack the work of Planned Parenthood, when they try to make healthcare political, they’re preventing people from getting the healthcare they deserve, when healthcare should be a basic, fundamental human right.
The facts: Planned Parenthood provides 2% of the nation’s breast exams (zero mammograms) and 1% of the nation’s Pap tests for cervical cancer — while also committing 35% of the nation’s total abortions… around 320,000 every year. Planned Parenthood frequently highlights cancer screenings as a primary service, but the number of abortions they commit is nearly equal to the number of breast exams they perform. Planned Parenthood actually did more abortions than Pap tests, according to 2016 numbers.
And abortion isn’t “medical care” or “health care.” It’s killing, and that is why it carries a stigma:
False Claim #4: “It’s my job as the physician to provide medically accurate, scientifically accurate information to my patients….”
The facts: Yes, as a physician, that’s Wen’s job. However, as head of Planned Parenthood, it isn’t.
Multiple Planned Parenthood workers have made unscientific statements to patients, and even former CEO Cecile Richards’ publicly claimed that her children’s lives began at birth. Other Planned Parenthood staffers have claimed “life begins” at whatever arbitrary point someone chooses. Planned Parenthood regularly substitutes correct terms for fetus or baby with “the pregnancy” — and instead of showing scientifically proven information on fetal development to women (whom they claim they “trust”), Planned Parenthood shows a dot in abortion videos rather than accurate images of preborn children:
False Claim #5: Looking at Planned Parenthood’s abortion services as a percentage “isn’t helpful.”
The facts: Having to explain the deceptive way one’s organization arrived at a claim that a mere 3% of its services are abortion — when that organization aborts 320,000 children annually — is probably not “helpful” when one has a façade to protect. This claim has been debunked not only by Live Action but by the (not exactly pro-life) Washington Post. Yet Planned Parenthood and supporters still claim abortion is only three percent of what it does. When NPR 1A’s host, Joshua Johnson, asked about this debunked claim multiple times, in multiple ways, Wen avoided answering. Instead, she said:
… I don’t think its helpful for supporters to frame the work that we do as a number…. If we give a number, in a way it actually further stigmatizes abortion care. Because, what does that mean if quote unquote only 3% of services are abortion? Does it mean we’re shying away from abortion? That’s not true…
Committing around 320,000 abortions annually is not “shying away from abortion,” but abortion doesn’t do wonders for public relations, which is why Wen emphasizes other services. While profitable abortions are on a steady decline nationally, the corporation’s abortion market share has increased to an estimated 35%, climbing nearly 11% from 2006 to 2016. During this time, the abortion corporation’s legitimate health services decreased.