By Dave Andrusko
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post titled, “What’s happened to former PPFA President Dr. Leana Wen?” How could I have known that Wen’s profile would raise a couple of hundred points because of a tweet she wrote about Tuesday’s 4th debate among Democrats running for President. Talk about stirring up a hornet’s nest!
First, some background.
Once upon a time—and not so long ago—pro-abortion Democrats took refuge from the charge that they were “pro-abortion” by insisting that they supported the Hyde Amendment (which cuts off almost all federal funding for abortion) and were really, truly, honestly uncomfortable with “late” abortions.
But that was then…
Now that former Vice President Joe Biden has caved in on his erstwhile support for the Hyde Amendment—conservatively estimated to have saved two million lives—the entire field of Democrats running for President is of one mind: your tax dollars and mine must pay for abortions.
The lone holdout on abortion without limitation up through the end of pregnancy is Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. But even to suggest that she agreed with the (former) position of Hillary Clinton—that abortion should be “legal, safe, and rare”—is to make her stand out like a sore thumb. Almost as bad (in the new Democrat Orthodoxy), Gabbard spelled out that “during the third trimester, abortion is not an option unless the life or severe health consequences of a woman are at risk.”
This is rank heresy, which Gabbard fudged by saying “I support codifying Roe v. Wade.”
“Codifying Roe” is code for eliminating every pro-life limitation currently in existence and ensuring that none will survive the gauntlet in the future. So Gabbard is taking back with one hand what she ostensibly was giving with the other hand.
Enter Dr. Wen, whom, as you remember, Planned Parenthood unceremoniously canned for insufficient reverence for abortion and more abortion and more abortion. Here’s her bombshell of a tweet
No, no, and no! shouted many respondents. One tweet was representative of the angry dissenters who were so glad she’d been ousted:
planned parenthood deserves so much better than this milquetoast defense of reproductive rights, i’m glad they fired you.
Wen had hit a gazillion hot buttons for the abortion-to-the-galaxy-and-beyond crowd, especially with the word “rare.” Why should abortions be rare when (to take a few examples from her critics—names omitted)
Except that there’s nothing wrong with #abortion, doc. There should be as many abortions as people need, and we should be able to get them without shame or stigma. It’s disappointing to hear a fellow physician buy into this kind of stigmatizing rhetoric. …
This framing is harmful, stigmatizing, and feeds the anti-choice narrative that abortion is inherently bad. It’s not. And for someone who used to lead a reproductive health organization, you should know the consequences of that kind of rhetoric. …
Abortion is a medical procedure. No other medical procedure would you describe as wanting it to be rare. Let’s ensure that cancer treatments are safe, legal, & rare. Let’s ensure that diabetes testing is safe, legal, & rare. Let’s ensure that therapy is safe, legal, & rare. No. …
abortion’s normal, it’s non-cognitive tissue and humanity isn’t any more exceptional than any other species in the universe overpopulation’s directly correlated to the challenge of climate adaptation and i’m more interested in humanity’s survival than limiting choices. …
And, more colorfully,
Safe legal and whenever the f_ _k a woman needs it, you mean? …
What probably unnerved the usual suspects even more than the former head of Planned Parenthood suggesting (as Wen said in a subsequent tweet) that, like heart surgery, abortion is “a procedure that should be available if needed, but prevention is the best medicine. Access is not in conflict with prevention,” was that many respondents agreed with her, including many self-identified pro-choicers.
As we’ve written on many occasions, Dr. Wen is a formidable foe….for Planned Parenthood. Wen never retreated an inch on abortion. She hewed to the company line about poor, old do-gooder PPFA under “attack.” She even recycled PPFA’s bogus history of abortion prior to Roe.
But, as she also wrote in her New York Times op-ed, “I believe abortion is about health care, not politics. Many of my colleagues disagreed.”
I’m guessing at meetings of PPFA’s board of directors, when the question is raised, “Who’s responsible for hiring this woman,?” no hands go up.