On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood’s Board of Directors announced it would be exercising its legal right to terminate Leana Wen’s presidency eight months into her term. It is not known if the Board offered Wen the option to be kept comfortable while the discussion over her employment ensued.
“The new Board Chairs and I have philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.” – Leana Wen
Wen’s sudden firing — while shocking to those outside the Planned Parenthood apparatus — did not come as a surprise to her, as she explained in a public statement. “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,” she wrote. “I am leaving because the new Board Chairs and I have philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.”
These “philosophical differences” apparently centered around a disagreement on strategy vis-à-vis abortion, with Wen arguing that embracing abortion as some sort of coming-of-age ritual for women — rather than as basic medical care — would alienate moderately pro-choice voters and undermine the long-term political viability of keeping abortion legal.
According to reports, tensions had also risen over Wen’s unwillingness to fully embrace “trans-inclusive” language – i.e., using the word “people” in place of “women.”
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) July 16, 2019
Wen’s pragmatism might have been typical within the Democratic Party just a few short years ago — ironically at a time when Planned Parenthood enjoyed its highest level of support.
But in 2019, these views have put her completely at odds with an intolerant, progressive ideology that has completely abandoned the idea of compromise and instead demands that all march in total lock step with every asinine idea on the Left, from open borders to slave reparations and a $97 trillion Green New Deal.
The Left is becoming more keen on simply imposing it on society without regard for dissent.
Thus, Wen had to go, and it’s no coincidence that she was replaced with an interim president who has embraced all aspects of modern leftist ideology.
For pro-lifers, it’s tempting to rejoice at seeing Planned Parenthood abandon Wen’s approach. After all, it seems objectively foolish for the organization to reject a strategy that has worked so well in favor of one that is clearly shifting public opinion away from support for abortion.
However, there is also a looming danger exemplified by this move. Planned Parenthood’s firing of Wen is part of a larger trend, one in which progressives are increasingly ignoring rational, politics-based decisions in favor of ideological purity. And rather than trying to convince skeptical Americans of their vision, the Left is becoming more keen on simply imposing it on society without regard for dissent.
We have also seen this tendency at work in the Democratic presidential primary as many candidates have raced each other to embrace truly unpopular ideas like free health care for illegal immigrants and reparations for gay people — and tarred their less enthusiastic colleagues as little better than racists for refusing to go along. We have seen it in corporate America, where Fortune 500 companies have been tripping over each other to display their commitment to “diversity” and “inclusivity” at the expense of religious liberty and sanity. And we have seen it in the media and entertainment industries, where child drag queens are celebrated and males competing in women’s sports are held up as heroes, while those who oppose these developments are branded as bigots.
Ideological purity is now a requirement for the Left.
Fortunately for the many dissenting Americans, there is still one place they can easily assert their own influence: the ballot box. And if one thing is clear, a string of defeats for Democrats is now inevitable if Republicans do their job in 2020. For all of the progressive propagandizing, most voters still do not agree that late-term abortion is a societal good that should be celebrated, that biological males should be allowed to compete on women’s sports teams, or that being a welcoming country requires effectively open borders. It is unlikely by November of next year that they will change their minds.
Nevertheless, Leana Wen had to go because she wasn’t woke enough. Just like Joe Biden will no doubt have to go in favor of a leftist progressive, and even Nancy Pelosi will have to go in favor of the “Squad.” Ideological purity is now a requirement for the Left, and given how radical their ideology is, conservatives have no excuse not to take advantage politically in 2020 and beyond.
Frank Cannon is the president of the American Principles Project Foundation.