The Corner

Health Care

Sorry, Men Can’t Get Pregnant

Leana Wen during a TED Talk in 2014 (TEDx via YouTube)

Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, was fired yesterday in a “secret meeting.” Wen, who has been in the position for less than a year, explained on Twitter that the decision had been “based on philosophical differences over the direction and future of Planned Parenthood.”

What “philosophical” differences? BuzzFeed reports an example:

Two sources told BuzzFeed News that Wen also refused to use “trans-inclusive” language, for example saying “people” instead of “women” and telling staff that she believed talking about transgender issues would “isolate people in the Midwest.”

Wen, who is a medical doctor, has a different approach. “I believe that the best way to protect abortion care is to be clear that it is not a political issue but a health care one, and that we can expand support for reproductive rights by finding common ground with the large majority of Americans who understand reproductive health care as the fundamental health care that it is,” she said.

In terms of strategy, Wen is likely correct. According to Gallup’s most recent polling from May of this year, the majority of Americans believe that abortion should be legal “only in certain circumstances.” Another poll shows that 49 percent identify as pro-life, versus 46 percent who identify as pro-choice. So, while among political elites abortion has become a tool used to entrench division, among the general public the attitude still seems to be, as the old slogan went, “safe, legal, and rare.”

Wen is also right to be skeptical of incorporating gender ideology into Planned Parenthood’s mission. According to its own slogans, Planned Parenthood is America’s number one provider of “women’s healthcare,” which means it really ought to be able to define and identify the category of women.

Whatever else one may think of her, Wen is a medical doctor with a scientific approach. But gender ideology, which is profoundly anti-scientific, proclaims that anyone who identifies as a woman is a woman. The comedian Steven Crowder, of YouTube notoriety, recently tested this out. “We wanted to see just how all-in they are,” Crowder said.

Posing as a transgender woman called Stephanie, Crowder purchases Plan B at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Given that Crowder has not undergone any surgeries for this role, he is quite clearly a man in a wig. But the nurse handed it over no problem. For a man, Plan B is not only unnecessary but potentially dangerous, causing infertility, loss of libido, and erectile dysfunction.

Next Crowder scheduled a pregnancy test and a follow up at a different Planned Parenthood clinic. For good measure, he takes the urine of an actually pregnant woman with him to submit as his own. But while a positive pregnancy test for a woman generally means she’s pregnant, for a man it can mean he has testicular cancer. He has the following conversation with a nurse practitioner:

Nurse practitioner: Were you assigned a female at birth? Sex at birth?

Crowder: Do you mean was I misgendered by a doctor when I was born?

Nurse practitioner: Did they consider you a female when you were born?

Crowder: I was misgendered at birth, yeah.

Nurse practitioner: I mean do you have… um… ovaries? A vagina?

Crowder: Let me make it really clear that I am not a woman in a man’s body. I am a woman. I’ve always been a woman. And I’m currently living as a woman. So, they did identify me, they misgendered me as a male when I was born.

Nurse practitioner: Ok, ok.

Crowder: Are these questions that are asked of every woman who comes in here?

Nurse practitioner: Yes.

Crowder: If they have ovaries? If they take testosterone?

Nurse practitioner: Yeah. I’m asking what are the medications that you take.

Crowder points out that even this falls short of Planned Parenthood’s own guidelines related to transgender people, which states that staff must treat transgender patients in complete accordance with their “authentic gender.” Nevertheless, after his indignation, the nurse checks Crowder out for a follow-up, as if she really believed that he was a pregnant woman. No mention is made of the fact that — as a male — a positive pregnancy test could mean that he has a life-threatening disease.

As Planned Parenthood continues to overreach, firing its president who is more in step with the American public, in order to pursue and promote the progressive agenda wholesale, it may well backfire. . . Let’s hope so.

One more thing

I was recently smeared as a “bigoted writer” by a clinical activist on Twitter for referring to two biological males as “men” in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. This reminded me of Ben Shapiro’s run-in with Zoe Tur on Dr. Drew On Call several years ago.

“How he feels on the inside is irrelevant to the question of his biological sex,” Ben Shapiro said of Caitlyn Jenner while in discussion with Tur and Segun Oduolowu (both of whom are journalists).

Shapiro said, “every chromosome, every cell in Caitlyn Jenner’s body, is male, with the exception of some of his sperm cells.” Zoe Tur, who is transgender (male-to-female), then accused Shapiro of being pig-ignorant about genetics.

“Would you like to discuss the genetics?” Shapiro replied, before asking Tur, “what are your genetics?”

“You cut that out right now or you’ll go home in an ambulance,” Tur responded, placing a hand on Shapiro’s shoulder.

“That seems mildly inappropriate for a political discussion,” Shapiro said.

“But to be fair, you’re actually being kind of rude,” Oduolowu said.

“I’m sorry but it’s not rude to say that a person who is biologically male is a male,” Shapiro replied.

Quite so. Whereas, baselessly calling someone a bigot or threatening them with physical violence is very rude indeed.

Madeleine Kearns is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute. She is from Glasgow, Scotland, and is a trained singer.

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