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Leana Wen. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images

Leana Wen, who was ousted as Planned Parenthood president in July, claimed in a scathing letter to the group's board of directors that its leadership was trying to "buy my silence," the New York Times reports. Planned Parenthood denies the claims.

Why it matters: Per the Times, which obtained the letter, the escalating dispute "threatens to prolong and magnify an acrimonious transition" at the top of the best-known women’s health care and reproductive rights group in the U.S. at a time when Planned Parenthood is increasingly under external political duress.

The allegations: Wen, who had been in the role for less than a year, said in the 1,400-word letter that Planned Parenthood withheld her health insurance and departure payout as "ransom" to pressure her to sign a confidentiality agreement, per the Times.

  • She claims that it's deeply hypocritical that Planned Parenthood, "would attempt to enforce a gag order on its immediate past President/CEO while fighting the Trump administration’s gag rule on Title X providers," according to the NYT.

What they're saying: Melanie Newman, a senior vice president for communications at Planned Parenthood, told the Times, "Dr. Wen’s recent allegations are unfortunate, saddening, and simply untrue."

"The attorneys representing the board have made every good faith effort to amicably part from Dr. Wen, and are disappointed that they have been unable to reach a suitable resolution regarding her exit package."
  • Wen expressed her disappointment at the Times' report of the letter in a Twitter post, as she doubled down on her gag order claim.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: Planned Parenthood left the federal family planning program known as Title X to avoid complying with the Trump administration's "gag rule," which bars groups that offer abortions or abortion referrals from receiving federal funding.

  • In August, Planned Parenthood clinics in the Northwest and Midwest were struggling to stay afloat financially after withdrawing from the program.

Go deeper

Rahm Emanuel questioned on murder of Laquan McDonald in confirmation hearing

Rahm Emanuel during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Oct. 20. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about the murder of Laquan McDonald during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become the U.S. ambassador to Japan, saying that "there's not a day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years I haven't thought about this."

Catch up quick: McDonald was a Black teenager who was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police during Emanuel's tenure as the city's mayor. The 2014 shooting triggered massive protests, both because of its nature and the fact that the officers' body-cam footage was concealed for years.

4 hours ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.