Statement on the Selection of Dr. Leana Wen to lead Planned Parenthood

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2018
Contact: Dorothy He
(872) 600-9517 / dhe@napawf.org

NEW YORK CITY -- Yesterday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America named Dr. Leana Wen as its incoming President. Dr. Wen currently serves as the Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore and has had an esteemed career as a doctor, scholar, and advocate. While serving as Health Commissioner, she won a lawsuit against the Trump administration for slashing the city’s teen pregnancy prevention program funds.

NAPAWF Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“The role of President at Planned Parenthood is one with the potential to touch millions of lives. It is a proud moment to witness an Asian American woman standing up to the administration and fighting for reproductive rights. That anti-choice spokespeople are attacking her Chinese heritage shows the lengths they are willing to go to to wall off reproductive health care from the women who need it most. This type of racist fear mongering only further drives home the significance of having a woman of color leading the fight to protect reproductive rights.

“We live in a time where women’s most fundamental rights are at risk. From restricted abortion access to abstinence-only sex education and insurers who deny workers birth control coverage, we find ourselves fending off more and more assaults on our reproductive justice and dignity on a daily basis. What’s worse, the current administration continues to enact policies that hurt women of color, low-income women, and immigrant women, with no regard for our mental or physical wellbeing. But women everywhere are standing up and fighting back -- and Dr. Leana Wen will now help lead the charge at Planned Parenthood. We welcome her in joining our endeavor to protect and expand the rights of all women.”

NAPAWF Board Members Marissa Graciosa and Christina Chang also issued the following statements in response, respectively:

“As an emergency room doctor, an immigrant, a former Planned Parenthood patient, a mother, and a Chinese American woman, Dr. Wen understands the difference health care access can make in people's lives, as well as the consequences when policies or politics stand in the way. We couldn’t be prouder to have a leader whose lived experience so clearly has informed her life of service, and we are excited to work closely with her to achieve our vision not only for Asian American women and girls -- but for all.”

“We applaud the appointment of Dr. Leana Wen as the next President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the first Asian American ever to lead the organization. Her experiences as an AAPI woman, an immigrant, a beneficiary of vital safety net programs, and a parent bears out the intersection of reproductive health and rights, economic justice, and immigrant rights. We look forward to partnering with her to build our movement to advance social justice and human rights.”

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for AAPI women and girls.