Planned Parenthood’s new director has released a video introducing herself to America. As the new face of the nation’s largest abortion provider, she wants to carefully continue the rebranding campaign Planned Parenthood is using to try to mainstream itself. Planned Parenthood isn’t just abortions and birth control, the campaign asserts. It’s women’s health care — and as this video tells us that’s now just normal healthcare.
Dr. Leana Wen is an immigrant from China. She came here with her family as a small child. In her video she highlights how dire their situation was on entry to America with only $40 to their names. From this beginning she went on to become an emergency medicine physician, a career choice aimed at ensuring all people are able to get medical care without being turned away.
Rather than going into clinic work aimed at total family care for families and communities below the poverty line like FQHCs, Wen instead moved into public health in Baltimore. There she described her work as addressing the teen pregnancy rate. Baltimore’s problems are deep rooted, with a 21.9 percent poverty rate, a teen pregnancy rate three times the national rate, and one of the highest murder rates in the country. During her time as Baltimore’s health commissioner, Wen sued the current administration to keep federal funding for teen sex ed, despite mixed results from those programs.
Leading with images of Wen and her family, including her and her baby, doesn’t change the nature of Planned Parenthood. Annually they perform 381,384 abortions a year or 881 a day. That’s thousands of babies who will never be lovingly be held in their mother’s arms. Planned Parenthood only makes 3,889 adoption referrals yearly, showing a huge disparity between the number of abortions they perform and the number of mothers who make an adoption plan after visiting them.
For all their talk and publicity campaigns centered around the idea of healthcare, Planned Parenthood performs a very narrow and select range of services. Don’t seek them out for routine childhood immunizations or sick care like antibiotics for an ear infection for an adult man. Don’t expect them to be able to provide a mammogram or offer maternity care. Planned Parenthood is in the business of providing abortions and getting women and teen girls on birth control. This is the healthcare Wen is so eager as a physician to oversee.
The ad suggested that Planned Parenthood is a good source of support and care for immigrants. The ad also includes an anecdote from Wen’s time working in a hospital. A girl died under her care after a tragic home abortion gone wrong. Not noted at this point is that abortion is currently legal in all 50 states. The legality of abortion allows babies to die, and despite the claims that legal abortion keeps it safe mothers still die, too.
Mothers like Karnamaya Mongar, who died at the hands of a doctor in a legal abortion here in America, also weren’t included. Her story isn’t featured in a touching video montage aimed at fundraising for Planned Parenthood, because that truth is inconvenient and painful.
Putting a doctor at the head of Planned Parenthood doesn’t change its mission. Rather, it’s a chance to ask how we entered into a culture of death in which women are told they can only get ahead if they sacrifice their most vulnerable is one we’re comfortable allowing to exist.