HealthZette

Planned Parenthood Names New Leader: Did You See Whom It Chose?

One pro-life advocate tells LifeZette, it's 'tragically ironic' the group's pick refers to its activities as 'lifesaving'

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has named Baltimore, Maryland-based physician Leana Wen to lead the organization.

Wen will replace Cecile Richards, who stepped down in January after nearly 10 years at the helm as president.

“For the first time in nearly 50 years, a doctor will lead Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Along with Planned Parenthood’s 12 million supporters, Dr. Wen will lead the fight to protect access to reproductive health care,” reads Planned Parenthood’s website.

To many who value the sanctity of life, those words are rich satire.

“It is tragically ironic that Dr. Wen, an emergency room physician, refers to ‘lifesaving’ work as she ascends to the presidency of Planned Parenthood, especially when it is obvious that Planned Parenthood’s major work is killing unborn children in utero,” Donna J. Harrison, a medical doctor and the executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, told LifeZette.

“Despite the spin, Planned Parenthood’s domination of market share of death by abortion, especially targeting black and Hispanic women, speaks for itself, and no amount of spin can erase the blood money trail,” added Harrison.

“It’s a shame that the Hippocratic oath, to heal and to do no harm to any patient, is not held in the highest regard by the physicians at Planned Parenthood,” said Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins in a statement.

“Putting a doctor in the presidency of Planned Parenthood won’t change the fact that the overall mission of that organization is ensuring that many lives are ended at a huge profit to the nation’s number-one abortion vendor. Abortion is not health care, and women deserve better than what Planned Parenthood wants to sell them,” added Hawkins, based in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

“Planned Parenthood’s selection of a doctor to be their next president is an opportunity to clean up their sorry record,” said Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser in a press release.

“Planned Parenthood is America’s largest abortion business with 35 percent of the national abortion market,” added Dannenfelser, whose organization is based in Washington, D.C. “In 2016, according to their latest annual report, abortions made up 96 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services for resolving a pregnancy, while prenatal services, miscarriage care, and adoption referrals together made up less than 4 percent.

“They specialize in ending the lives of unborn children, not offering lifesaving health care,” she continued. “Community health alternatives that do provide comprehensive care for women and families — not abortion — outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities by at least 20 to one nationwide. The best thing Dr. Wen could do for Planned Parenthood is to help them live up to their claim of being an authentic women’s health care provider.”

Even stronger condemnation came from Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, a national pro-life organization based in Washington, D.C. 

“Planned Parenthood’s new president will preside over the nation’s largest abortion corporation, which dismembers, poisons, and starves to death 900 preborn children every day, profiting off their deaths,” she said in a statement to LifeZette.

Related: Chelsea Clinton: It Would Be ‘Un-Christian’ to Protect Babies from Abortion

“Planned Parenthood’s own annual reporting over the last 10 years undeniably shows that its focus is abortion, not women’s health care,” Rose continued. “Planned Parenthood has failed women, steadily losing hundreds of thousands of clients and closing over 200 of its facilities. While it has focused on growing its abortion numbers by 11 percent over the last 10 years, its breast exams have decreased by 62 percent, its cervical cancer screenings by 74 percent, and its contraception services by 32 percent — all things people like Leana Wen claim Planned Parenthood is so needed to provide.

“It is especially tragic that someone with medical training and who was born in China — a nation that has had brutal one-child and two-child policies and that has forced women to abort their babies — will now be campaigning for more abortions in the United States,” Rose’s statement continued. “Planned Parenthood’s new president will preside over the nation’s largest abortion corporation, which dismembers, poisons, and starves to death 900 preborn children every day, profiting off their deaths.”

Wen will reportedly continue in her role as the health commissioner of Baltimore, Maryland, until her new post with Planned Parenthood begins this November.

See more on Wen in the video below.

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.