FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2012 file photo, Dr. Leana Wen stands in the emergency department at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, during her medical residency. On Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, Wen, an immigrant from China who has been Baltimore's health commissioner for nearly four years, was named as the new president of Planned Parenthood. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Planned Parenthood picks Chinese-born doctor as new leader

September 12, 2018 - 2:41 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — A Chinese immigrant who fled her native country when she was 8 has been named Planned Parenthood's new president, the first doctor to hold the post in five decades.

Dr. Leana Wen will assume the role Nov. 12, six days after midterm elections in which Planned Parenthood's political wing plans to spend $20 million on behalf of candidates who support abortion rights. The 35-year-old was named Wednesday.

Wen will be Planned Parenthood's sixth president over a century of work providing millions of Americans with birth control, sex education and medical screenings. The organization also is the largest provider of abortions in the U.S., making it a perennial target for anti-abortion activists.

Wen, who has been Baltimore's health commissioner since 2015, succeeds Cecile Richards, who'd been president since 2006 before resigning earlier this year.

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This story has been corrected to show Wen began as Baltimore's health commissioner in 2015, not 2014.