Did Planned Parenthood Fire Leana Wen for Refusing to Use Transgender Language?

Leana Wen attends the 2019 Time 100 Gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood unceremoniously fired its president and CEO, Leana Wen. Wen said she and the board had discussed her departure “based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.” Two anonymous sources gave a hint as to what one of those philosophical differences might be: unscientific pro-transgender language.


Wen refused to use “trans-inclusive” language, the two sources told BuzzFeed News. For example, she would use “women” instead of “people,” and told staff she believed talking about transgender issues would “isolate people in the Midwest.”

PJ Media reached out to Wen, seeking to confirm the report and discover her side of the story. She did not respond.

Planned Parenthood is America’s number one abortion provider, but it claims to be the number one provider of “women’s health care.” Providing health care to women might require a good understanding of what women are.

As a medical doctor, Wen likely knows the key biological differences between men and women — differences that carry serious weight in medicine. Yet transgender ideology involves treating men who claim to identify as women as women, regardless of their male biology. It also involves considering women who claim to identify as men to actually be male.

Therefore, a mother who identifies as male will insist on being treated like a man, even though her female body is pregnant. In one case, a pregnant woman in the first stages of labor came to the hospital, but since she appeared masculine and said she was male, doctors did not think to treat her for labor. She lost her baby.


Arguably more tragic, the doctors learned the wrong lesson. “He was rightly classified as a man” in the medical records and appears masculine, Dr. Daphna Stroumsa at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine. “But that classification threw us off from considering his actual medical needs.”

In the transgender world of topsy-turvydom, a “man” can get pregnant, and when the baby dies because doctors don’t realize “he” is actually a woman, doctors excoriate themselves for not considering the “obvious” possibility that a man experiencing abdominal pains must actually be going into labor.

Medical doctors should laugh at this absurdity, but the increasing political clout of the transgender movement — in medical institutions, no less — either prevents them from thinking clearly or effectively muzzles them from speaking the truth about men and women.

Planned Parenthood follows the transgender ideology, urging parents to “teach” their preschoolers that “genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl.” Worse, according to an anonymous mother who spoke with the feminist organization Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), Planned Parenthood gave her mentally ill daughter permission to receive transgender hormones, circumventing her daughter’s psychiatrist.


In fact, Steven Crowder went to Planned Parenthood dressed as a woman and calling himself Stephanie. He scheduled a pregnancy test, taking the urine of an actually pregnant woman with him. As National Review‘s Madeleine Kearns explained, a positive pregnancy test for a woman means she’s pregnant. But for a man, it can mean he has testicular cancer.

At a different Planned Parenthood, “Stephanie” Crowder purchased Plan B. While he was clearly a man in a wig, the nurse handed it over, no problem. “For a man, Plan B is not only unnecessary but potentially dangerous, causing infertility, loss of libido, and erectile dysfunction,” Kearns noted.

In other words, Planned Parenthood is willing to overlook potential signs of testicular cancer in a man because he identifies as a woman. It is also willing to “prescribe” a drug to a man that would be unhealthy for him.

Wen may not have had too many problems with transgender ideology at first, but the constant demands for transgender language may have gotten to her. Or her subtle refusals to adopt the language may have grated on Planned Parenthood staff and the board.

The former president had other philosophical differences with her former employer, however. In her statement Tuesday, Wen said, “I believe that the best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue but a health care one.”


Wen’s subtle resistance to transgender ideology and the threat it causes to thinking clearly about men and women — and their differing health needs — might not have been the central reason why Planned Parenthood fired her, but it seems to have been a contributing factor. This news does not bode well for medical doctors more concerned with scientific clarity and health care than with transgender ideology.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.


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