Planned Parenthood on Tuesday dismissed Dr. Leana Wen as its president, a shocking move that comes less than a year after she took the helm of the organization.
Wen, the first physician to lead the group in decades, tweeted that she learned the board ended her employment at a “secret meeting” shortly after The New York Times reported the move.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s board of directors thanked Wen for her service in a statement asserting her departure.
board Chairwomen Aimee Cunningham and Jennie Rosenthal thank Dr. Leana Wen for her service to Planned Parenthood in such a pivotal time and extend their best needs for her continued success.
Alexis McGill Johnson, a Planned Parenthood board member, will serve as acting president effective immediately.
A search for a new candidate for president and CEO will start early next year, to get a president in place by the end of 2020.
Wen’s departure comes as battles over abortion ban heat upon at the state and federal levels.
Alabama recently passed a de-facto ban on the procedure, which has not taken effect and challenged in court. Several other states have passed a ban on the process after at about six weeks of pregnancy.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has succeeded in chopping millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood via changes to the Title X family planning program.
Wen was appointed to the role last September following the departure of former President Cecile Richards, a powerhouse Democratic operative.
But Wen, who was Baltimore’s health commissioner before taking the job, took a different approach, focusing on abortion as a health care difficulty and not as a political one.