Welcome to the show. Thank you. I’m so glad to be on. -Huge fan. -And congratulations
on your new position. You have now been leading
Planned Parenthood… I-Is it six months now? -How long has it been?
-Four months. Four months.
Straight into the job. And, honestly, you have one
of the most impressive résumés -of any human being
I have ever read. -(chuckles) No, genuine. Because I read it, and I was like,
“This-this has to be wrong. The numbers
are the other way around.” Is it true
that you attended college -at the age of 13?
-It is. (laughter and cheering) And you passed? And somehow I’m here today
as a doctor. No, I mean,
you-you went to college at 13. You-you graduated. You flew, you know,
at the top of your class. You went on to work
in health care, and you worked in health care
in, um, in Baltimore. And you look at the programs
that you enforce there. I mean, you are someone who
has been a badass from day one. I mean,
you-you implemented programs where you helped kids
get reading glasses, and this improved test scores. Which means
the kids weren’t dumb. -They just couldn’t see, right?
-That’s right. And-and then you worked on improving general health care
of the community. Has this always been your focus
in life, -improving other people’s lives
through health? -It is. I’ve always wanted
to be a doctor for as long as I could remember. And it’s also, though,
in working in the ER that I saw
that what’s making people sick isn’t just the illness
that they have -if it’s also systemic issues.
-Right. And that’s why I truly believe
that health care has to be a human right
that’s guaranteed to all and not just a privilege
available to some. (cheering and applause) When you… When you take over
Planned Parenthood, though, you are taking over
an institution that is easily one
of the most divisive in America. You have an institution
that works to support so many women
and their reproductive rights, and you have an institution that has become
the single enemy of the right. What is your idea
of what Planned Parenthood is supposed to be doing
in this country? Planned Parenthood
is a health care organization. That’s how I got to know
Planned Parenthood. My mother was a patient
at Planned Parenthood. So was my sister, and so was I, -just like one in five women
in America. -Right. Look, we’re not the ones
that made health care political. I mean, getting medications
for your children, getting breast
and cervical cancer screenings, -STI tests…
-Right. These are not political issues. But when other people
have made health care political, it’s our duty to fight back
with everything we have, because it’s
about people’s lives. And when you… when you… (cheering and applause) When you fight back, you are
fighting back against people who believe in their convictions
as-as hard as you do. And, you know, I-I’ve realized
that this topic is-is one that is, honestly, you know, one of the most entrenched
in America. The topic of abortion in
and around Planned Parenthood has been one
of the biggest reasons that Republicans want
to defund your organization. But you argue
that reducing Planned Parenthood to only abortions
doesn’t take into account what the organization’s
really about. What do you mean by that? Abortion is
a standard medical procedure that one in four American women
will have in our lifetimes. It’s part of the full spectrum
of reproductive health care, which is health care. And it’s important for us -to speak about abortion
in that context. -Right. In Planned Parenthood,
we provide care to nearly 2.5 million people
every year. We provide care to women–
the full spectrum of services. Some of our health centers even
provide mental health services, -prenatal care, postnatal care.
-Yes. We’re proud also to serve men
and non-binary people. Actually, we are really proud that we now provide hormone
therapy for trans people, and we are looking to expand
gender-affirming care to all of our health centers
around the country. -Wh-When you…
-(cheering and applause) As a– as a doctor, you are in a unique position, because you are a physician,
you know? Most of us speak
about this topic, and it’s an opinion based
on what we’ve read. But you are actually someone
who is qualified, and you have studied this. Take us through the arguments against what many Republicans
are proposing in the heartbeat laws. Just today,
the governor of Mississippi signed into law a bill that would prohibit abortions
after six weeks, when most women don’t even know
that they’re pregnant. And this is–
Similar types of legislation have been introduced
in 15 states -just in 2019 alone.
-Right. And this is terrifying. I mean, with Brett Kavanaugh
on the Supreme Court, we face a real situation where one in three women
of reproductive age, which is 25 million women, could be living in states
where abortion is criminalized and banned altogether. And I know what that means. I-I have a mentor who practiced
medicine in the 1960s, -working in the ERs.
-Yeah. And he talked about how
there was an entire area of the hospital called
the sepsis ward, and it was filled
with young women who were dying from infections
and kidney failure because they had to go have
unsafe abortion care. And that’s
what could happen now. Thousands of women died
before Roe v. Wade, and that could happen now. And this is what we need
to call out. We need to call out
that reproductive health care is health care and that we are
fighting for people’s lives. Wh-When you look
at the arguments that Republicans pose
from the other side, they say, “We’re here to protect
the unborn child.” Um, President Trump has been
seen on the campaign trail saying this is
about late-term abortions. You know,
you hear the stories now where– I mean,
President Trump actually said it’s gotten
to the point where, um, a baby can be aborted
after it is born. -Now…
-(audience chuckling) I don’t know what that means, but you’re a doctor. Wha-What do they mean
by “late-term abortions,” like, “after birth”
or “at birth”? (laughter) Good response from the audience. (laughter) We have to call out President
Trump for what he’s doing, which is lying. I mean, what he’s saying
has no basis… (cheering, applause) What President Trump
is saying has no basis in medicine or reality. (laughter) A-And here are the facts. About 99% of abortions occur
before 21 weeks, -Mm-hmm.
-and those that occur later in pregnancy are because
something in the pregnancy has gone very wrong. And I treated a woman
who found out at 21 weeks that she was carrying twins
that would never develop their diaphragms or their lungs. And if she’d
carried them to term, they would have suffocated
upon birth. These are extremely difficult,
hugely personal and challenging circumstances that women and families
find themselves in. -Right. -And they
deserve our compassion. And President Trump
is exploiting their pain for political gain,
and I say to him: Shame on you, President Trump. (cheering, applause, whistling) You’re at the beginning
of a journey. You’re at the beginning
of a journey. You’re also, um, at the beginning
of a new Supreme Court. You’re also at, um,
I mean, the beginning of Donald Trump’s, you know, I guess,
effect on the conversation. You look at what Republicans
are doing now in and around the country
with abortion laws. One of the biggest things
that concerns many women, and many of the people at
Planned Parenthood, I’ve read, is, um, what
the government is saying in and around
what doctors can recommend or how you can have
conversations around abortion. What are those issues,
specifically? A month ago,
the Trump-Pence administration came out with a gag rule
around the Title X program. So, Title X is a program that provides four million
low-income women and families with affordable birth control, -Mm-hmm.
-um, cancer screenings, STI tests, and the Trump administration
came out with a gag rule saying that doctors now
cannot provide referrals for women for abortion care even if women are asking
for abortion referral, and it’s not even clear
what we would do as doctors if it’s medically necessary. I mean, this is
direct censorship. It’s putting a gag on doctors and forcing us to withhold
information from our patients. And this is why
over 100 medical and nursing and public health organizations
are opposing this rule, including the American
Medical Association. You know,
we at Planned Parenthood would never gag our doctors,
we would never force our doctors to lie to our patients,
and that’s why we are fighting this gag rule
with everything we have, including we
just recently filed a lawsuit to sue the Trump-Pence
administration against this illegal
and unethical rule. (cheering, applause) Look, I, uh… …tell you this much,
you are a… a doctor who is a woman who
is running Planned Parenthood who finished college
and is an immigrant. You are literally
Trump’s nightmare. (laughter) So, uh,
good luck on your journey. -Welcome…
-Thanks, Trevor. -(cheering, applause)
-welcome to your new job. Dr. Leana Wen, everybody.