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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Dr. Leana Wen, 35, a former emergency room doctor and Baltimore City commissioner of health, was named Planned Parenthood's next president on Wednesday, The New York Times reports.

The big picture: Wen's appointment is set against the debate over whether to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who critics fear would chip away protections under the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade. Organization officials expect Wen to "be a powerful advocate for protecting women's freedom," per the NYT. She is the sixth president of Planned Parenthood and the second doctor to lead the organization.

Her background

Wen is a Chinese immigrant who came to America "just before her eighth birthday," after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

  • Wen has been praised for her work to reduce racial disparity in health care and "sharply reducing infant mortality" in Baltimore.
  • She told the search committee that she, her sister and her mother "relied on Planned Parenthood for health care" when they came to the U.S., as they were very poor after being granted political asylum.
  • Wen later went on to medical school after graduating college at 18 years old.
What they're saying
  • Sarah Stoesz, member of the search committee and chief executive of Planned Parenthood in the Dakotas and Minnesota, told the NYT that Wen understands what it's like "to be on the outside. As a child in rural America, she understands the unique health access challenges that people ... face."
  • Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings told the Times: "In Baltimore, [Wen] has expanded care, found solutions around obstacles, and, most important of all, saved lives."

Go deeper

Amazon warehouse workers in New York file petition to hold unionization vote

Amazon workers and their supporters rally outside the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Brooklyn, New York City, after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in New York City filed a petition on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization.

Why it matters: The move comes six months after an organizing effort was defeated at Amazon's distribution center in Alabama.

Updated 46 mins ago - World

U.S. freezes aid to Sudan over military coup

Protesting the coup in Khartoum. Photo: AFP via Getty

The Biden administration froze a $700 million aid package to Sudan after a military coup on Monday threatened to end the country's transition toward democracy.

Driving the news: At least three protesters have been killed and dozens wounded in the chaotic scenes that followed the announcements from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan's ruling council, dissolving the government and declaring a state of emergency.

59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democratic retirements spark worry over holding House majority

Expand chart
Data: House Press Gallery; Table: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) is the latest House lawmaker to announce he won't seek re-election next year, bringing the total number of Democratic retirements to 13, compared to nine Republicans.

Why it matters: The increasing number of Democratic retirements — put against the backdrop of President Biden's sagging approval ratings and uncertainty about redistricting — is adding to concerns the party may not be able to keep its slim majority in the House.