It was her first day as Planned Parenthood’s new president on Monday when Dr. Leana Wen shared a concern that the Supreme Court might be a threat in overturning Roe v. Wade.
During the 2018 midterm elections, both Alabama and West Virginia made big moves as they advanced initiatives against abortion.
Alabama approved a state constitutional amendment to recognize “the sanctity of unborn life and rights of children, including the right to life.”
West Virginia stripped abortion rights protection in a state constitutional amendment that “nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or funding of abortion.”
If Roe v. Wade was overturned, the ballot measure could create new limits or a full ban on abortion in both of those states.
As Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, Wen shared an unwanted message to pro-choicers on “CBS This Morning” that there is a “very real likelihood” for Roe v. Wade to be overturned.
“There is a very real likelihood that Roe v. Wade could be overturned in this Supreme Court, which would leave 25 million women, which is a third of women of reproductive age in this country, without access to reproductive rights.”
Wen mentioned there are 15 cases that are “one step away” from the Supreme Court which would restrict abortion rights — she’s “deeply concerned” about it from a “public health perspective.”
Watch the video below:
During the CBS interview, Wen thought that women’s health care “shouldn’t be political” and that she doesn’t think “politicians have any role to play in the exam room.”
What Kavanaugh means for Roe v. Wade
Abortion rights groups have shown concern over Justice Brett Kavanaugh playing a role in overturning Roe v. Wade due to his past decisions as DC Circuit Court judge.
When Kavanaugh was going through confirmation hearings to become a justice on the Supreme Court, there was an uproar from pro-choice activists that the conservative judge would remove Roe v. Wade.
During the process, Kavanaugh was questioned by Democrats on whether he would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade — however, he refused to promise a reversal vote as it is against judicial norms to do so, CNN reported.
“As a general proposition I understand the importance of the precedent set forth in Roe v. Wade,” Kavanaugh said.
If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, it would make it so that each state could set their own abortion law, according to CNN.
Rejecting “pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels
As the new leadership for Planned Parenthood, Wen rejects the idea of “pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels.
During a CNN interview, Wen explained that moving beyond the labels is necessary because of communities of color and low income facing “dramatic barriers” to the choice.
Wen reiterated that she’s a doctor and is “trained to save lives,” therefore, to her, the idea of a “pro-life” label is not necessary — without mentioning the idea of saving the lives of the unborn.
“I also reject the term ‘pro-life.’ I’m a doctor. I went to medical school. I trained to save lives. I’m pro-life, I’m pro-women, I’m pro-family, I’m pro-patient, and it’s important for us to go beyond labels to talk about what it is that we want today, which is that we are a society that trusts women.”
Watch the video below:
“It’s 2018 and we’re still debating birth control!” I spoke with @DrLeanaWen, who took over as the new head of @PPFA today. “We the people believe that health care is a fundamental human right.” pic.twitter.com/GmPMOLpLX2
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) November 12, 2018
As the possibility of the Supreme Court in overturning Roe v. Wade looms and as states pass amendments to advance initiatives against abortion, Wen called women’s health throughout the U.S. a “state of emergency.”