chinese immigrant doctor planned parenthood

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Planned Parenthood’s new president is a doctor, Chinese immigrant

Twitter congratulated Dr. Leana Wen on the position.


Alexis Tatum


Posted on Sep 12, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 6:38 am CDT

Planned Parenthood announced on Wednesday that Dr. Leana Wen will serve as the organization’s president as the position changes hands for the first time in almost five decades.

Wen, a 35-year-old physician and healthcare advocate, is currently serving as the health commissioner for the city of Baltimore until she takes on her new position with Planned Parenthood.

In a video announcement shared on Twitter, Wen wrote, “I’m ready to take on this fight with everything I have, and am proud to stand alongside millions of [Planned Parenthood] supporters as we embark on this next chapter together.”

In the video posted by Planned Parenthood, Wen talks about immigrating from China at 8-years-old and later working as an emergency room doctor. “We came to the US with $40 to our name,” Wen said. “We depended on Medicaid and food stamps, and also Planned Parenthood for healthcare.”

Wen also recollects a story about a woman who had attempted a home abortion during her time as an emergency room doctor. “I did everything I could to resuscitate her, but she died,” Wen says in the video. “In the ER, I saw what happens every day when people don’t have access to the basic right to healthcare.”

Wen’s personal and professional history has resonated with people online who are praising her promotion to Planned Parenthood for numerous reasons, including her previous work as the health commissioner of Baltimore and her experiences as a Chinese immigrant. Wen also successfully sued the Trump administration for cutting funding to health education in Baltimore.

Wen will officially take her position as Planned Parenthood president on Nov. 12.

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*First Published: Sep 12, 2018, 9:45 pm CDT