Planned Parenthood president says she's more concerned with health care than possible safety threats

Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen on Tuesday said she’s more concerned about ensuring access to basic health care than potential threats over her own personal safety.

“Planned Parenthood is certainly a flashpoint for controversy, do you worry about your own personal safety taking this role on at all?” Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball asked in an interview on “Rising.”

“I think about the patients who are trying to get something as basic as health care,” Wen said.

Wen cited her experience working as a patient escort while she was attending medical school, where she personally witnessed the stigma associated with seeking even basic care at a Planned Parenthood health center.

“You have to walk through protestors just because you’re trying to get your cancer screening or your vaccinations and what happens when you go seek any other aspect of health care where you just walk in and out of a doctor’s office because that’s what health care is,” she said.

Wen added that many that go to Planned Parenthood are just trying to save their own lives and provide for their loved ones, saying women’s health is also “the health care of communities and families too.”

She also emphasized that the organization not only helps women but also provides basic health services to men and members of the LGBTQ community.

Wen was named the president of Planned Parenthood in September after long-time former leader Cecile Richards stepped down from the organization. She is the first doctor to lead the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in nearly 50 years.

Even though she’s only four weeks in, Wen said doesn’t take her new role lightly, and has already outlined her vision for the future of Planned Parenthood.

"My vision for Planned Parenthood is threefold: First to continue to provide exceptional health care through our 600 health centers around the country; second is to protect access to that care to defend against these attacks that are happening in all levels of government all across our country and third is to expand our impact and expand our reach," Wen said.

– Tess Bonn