Jun 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Planned Parenthood names Alexis McGill Johnson as president, CEO

Alexis Johnson.

Alexis McGill Johnson speaks at a rally against white supremacy in Lafayette Square in 2019. Photo: Marlena Sloss/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Planned Parenthood interim president Alexis McGill Johnson will take over the role permanently and also become CEO, the organization announced Friday.

Why it matters: Johnson is a civil rights and social justice activist and is Planned Parenthood's second Black president, according to The Daily Beast, which first reported the promotion. The organization has long refuted claims by anti-abortion activists that it was founded on racist ideals because its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a proponent of eugenics.

  • Johnson succeeds Leana Wen, who was ousted in 2019 after internal disputes.

What they're saying: “There is no one better to lead [Planned Parenthood’s] work to address the systemic racism that stands in the way of true reproductive freedom,” the organization said of Johnson in a statement.

  • “Under her leadership and expertise, Planned Parenthood has publicly committed to reckoning with its history, investing in work aimed at engaging communities of color, and improving Planned Parenthood’s health care delivery.” 
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