Back in January of last year, Cecile Richards stepped down as president of Planned Parenthood. She left behind her a political lightning rod of an organization—plagued with scandals involving the sale of fetal body parts, illegal and underage abortions, and fighting for its millions of dollars in annual federal funding from Congress.
Her successor, who took the reins of the country’s largest abortion provider in November, is a surprisingly different person. Leana Wen, a former Health Commissioner and emergency room doctor from Baltimore, was the first actual physician to lead this so-called healthcare organization in half a century.
When her appointment was announced last year, I called on-air for Christians to pray for Dr. Wen—that God would change her heart, bring her to faith in Christ, and end her bloody work. I’m not sure whether those prayers have been answered in the way I hoped, but her work at Planned Parenthood has come to an end.
In a Twitter post last week, Dr. Wen announced that the Planned Parenthood board had met in secret and decided to fire her. The reasons for her firing, she said, were “philosophical differences” about the messaging and future of Planned Parenthood.
Since then, we’ve learned a bit more about those differences. The New York Times reports that Dr. Wen just wasn’t “aggressive” enough about explaining and promoting abortion—at least in the eyes of many at Planned Parenthood. In light of new state-level pro-life laws, veterans of the abortion giant wanted a fighter. Not a physician.
It seems Dr. Wen might have tried to run Planned Parenthood as if it really were a healthcare organization. As part of that, she sought to appeal to people outside of the organization’s far-left donor base.
For instance, Buzzfeed reports that Wen refused to use “trans-inclusive” language in her messaging, talking about “women’s” healthcare being for, well, women—and excluding men and non-binary individuals.
And so, less than a year after hiring Wen, the Planned Parenthood board voted at a “secret meeting” to fire her.
As one writer at Slate observes, “Planned Parenthood, it seems, didn’t fully grasp that by tapping a doctor with progressive chops but no political experience it was getting…a doctor with progressive chops but no political experience.”
For Planned Parenthood, this likely means a search for a new, radically pro-abortion, political firebrand to helm their organization—someone more like Cecile Richards. In fact, descriptions of the interim president are very much in line with this prediction. But here’s another question: What will this mean for Dr. Wen?
I’m with Abby Johnson—former Planned Parenthood worker and the subject of the recent pro-life film, “Unplanned.” When she heard about Wen’s firing, she addressed her in a tweet: “I know what this feels like; they did it to me too. If you’d like to talk, I’m here…”
Later, Johnson pointed out something many pro-lifers missed: earlier this summer, Dr. Wen—already a mother—suffered a miscarriage. In fact, she wrote about it in The Washington Post.
Imagine for a second the mental, moral, and spiritual conflict of grieving for a lost child while running an organization that routinely kills children of the same age and level of development. And then, on top of it all, they fire you.
All of this makes me wonder: Could Dr. Wen be wavering in her pro-choice convictions? Even beyond the miscarriage, a change of career like this—being terminated—can really make you rethink everything. Now I don’t know that, and I have no way of knowing. But what I do know is that Jesus sometimes shows up in dramatic fashion, and that no one is beyond His reach, or the prayers of His people. So that’s what I’m praying—that Dr. Wen will meet Jesus, find His grace, and become a champion of life.
As Planned Parenthood doubles down on its abortion extremism and political activism, would you also commit to doubling down on prayer? Prayer that this evil organization and its evil practices would come to an end, and that Dr. Leana Wen would find a new beginning.
BreakPoint is a program of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. BreakPoint commentaries offer incisive content people can't find anywhere else; content that cuts through the fog of relativism and the news cycle with truth and compassion. Founded by Chuck Colson (1931 – 2012) in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends. Today, you can get it in written and a variety of audio formats: on the web, the radio, or your favorite podcast app on the go.
John Stonestreet is President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and radio host of BreakPoint, a daily national radio program providing thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.
Publication date: July 22, 2019
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris/Staff