Former Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen is in a heated battle with her former employer due to the company’s decision to withhold her severance unless she signs a confidentiality agreement.
Wen was forced out of her leadership position at Planned Parenthood in July. At the time, she claimed that she was removed for trying to position the group away from politics, especially surrounding the issue of abortion, in hopes to reposition the organization as more of a health care provider. She claimed that the board members of Planned Parenthood “prefer a stridently political, abortion-first philosophy” and she was removed for failing to align with that mission.
In a letter obtained by the New York Times, Wen is now claiming that Planned Parenthood is denying her severance package — which included pay and health insurance coverage — unless she agrees to sign a confidentiality agreement. She claimed the group was using the severance package as “ransom” to keep her quiet. Unfortunately for Planned Parenthood, it doesn’t look like Wen has any plans to stay silent.
“No amount of money can ever buy my integrity and my commitment to the patients I serve,” she wrote in the letter.
Senior vice president for communications for Planned Parenthood, Melanie Newman, claimed that the accusations made in the letter were not true, telling the Times, “Dr. Wen’s recent allegations are unfortunate, saddening, and simply untrue. The attorneys representing the board have made every good faith effort to amicably part from Dr. Wen, and are disappointed that they have been unable to reach a suitable resolution regarding her exit package.”
Still, it sounds like this issue won’t be going away for the organization. Wen noted that she believes she is “contractually-guaranteed severance and continued health insurance coverage” and she will not be trading her silence for what she believes is rightfully hers.
Wen also made a jab at the organization after it gave up a major portion of its funding following a recent ruling on Title X which agreed with the Trump administration that federal tax dollars should not be given to groups that refers abortion services to low-income mothers.
“It is deeply hypocritical,” she wrote, that Planned Parenthood, “would attempt to enforce a gag order on its immediate past President/CEO while fighting the Trump administration’s gag rule on Title X providers.”