Planned Parenthood’s new president Dr. Leana Wen has overcome extraordinary obstacles, which have helped shape her views on health care.
“I remember when I was ten, watching a neighbor’s child die in front of me who had asthma. I also had asthma,” she explained. “And it wasn’t because the medical care wasn’t there. There was medical care available. It was that he and his family, they were undocumented immigrants and they were too scared to call for help because they were worried about what might happen.”
Dr. Wen said that she and her parents depended on Medicaid and food stamps when she was growing up. She also said they were evicted from their homes several times because they couldn’t afford rent.
“When my mother couldn’t get care anywhere else, Planned Parenthood was there for her,” she said. “I was also a patient of Planned Parenthood. My little sister was also a patient of Planned Parenthood, just like one in five women in America.”
Wen also said she’s troubled by what she’s seeing in the country today, and that the single biggest public health catastrophe our country faces is the threat to women’s health.
“And that’s what I want to fight for,” she explained.