Ousted Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen took to Twitter during Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate to point out the left’s “third rail” on the issue of abortion – and then proceeded to step right on it.
Breaking from many progressives – and most Democratic presidential contenders on the stage – Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard took a line from the 1992 Democratic playbook in asserting that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” and not the celebrated event liberals have embraced it as in recent years.
Wen, who was fired by Planned Parenthood after less than a year on the job purportedly for not focusing enough on expanding abortion services, tweeted her support for the position.
“I don’t agree with [Tulsi Gabbard] on a lot, but do appreciate that she brought up the third rail for Democrats: that abortion should be ‘safe, legal, and rare,’” Wen tweeted, adding, “We should reduce the need for abortions by investing in prevention.”
I don’t agree with @TulsiGabbard on a lot, but do appreciate that she brought up the third rail for Democrats: that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” We should reduce the need for abortions by investing in prevention.— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) October 16, 2019
Many on the left were quick to rip Wen a new one for daring to suggest that a risky medical procedure – one that always leaves at least one of its victims dead and is statistically known for physically and emotionally scarring women – be at all avoided.
One Twitter user called Wen’s statement “harmful” and “stigmatizing.”
This framing is harmful, stigmatizing, and feeds the anti-choice narrative that abortion is inherently bad. It’s not. And for someone who used to lead a reproductive health organization, you should know the consequences of that kind of rhetoric.— Lauren Rankin (@laurenarankin) October 16, 2019
Others slammed Wen’s position as “disappointing,” telling her she should “know better” than to support anything other than free and unlimited access to infanticide.
While some Republican states have enacted more restrictions on abortion like heartbeat bills and bans on elective abortion for babies with Down syndrome, many Democrat-led states, including New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois, have pushed to make elective abortions legal up until the moment of birth, marking a dramatic shift in the left's public stance on abortion since the "safe, legal and rare" days of the Clinton era.