MacKenzie Scott donates record $275m to Planned Parenthood

Donation part of billionaire's pledge to give away majority of her wealth

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 23, 2018 MacKenzie Scott (then Bezos) poses as she arrives at the headquarters of publisher Axel-Springer where he will receive the Axel Springer Award 2018 in Berlin. - MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, said on December 15, 2020 that she has given $4.2 billion to groups helping the vulnerable as the pandemic hits lives like "a wrecking ball." (Photo by JORG CARSTENSEN / dpa / AFP) / - Germany OUT
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Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $275 million to US women's healthcare provider Planned Parenthood, the largest gift from a single donor in the organisation's more than 100-year history, Planned Parenthood said on Wednesday.

The donation, which is part of Ms Scott's pledge to give away the majority of her wealth, was made to Planned Parenthood's national office and 21 regional affiliates.

Ms Scott, who is now married to Dan Jewett, a science teacher living in Seattle, Washington, received a 4 per cent stake in Amazon as part of her divorce from founder Jeff Bezos.

Planned Parenthood, which provides women's healthcare services at its clinics across the country, is at the forefront of the political battle over abortion rights playing out in US state legislatures and courts.

Abortion access in the US is on the decline as Republican-led states pass ever tighter restrictions on the procedure, including a near-total ban in Texas that has withstood legal challenges.

The conservative-leaning US Supreme Court seems likely to overhaul constitutional protections for abortion this spring.

The court has signalled its willingness to reinstate a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy in Mississippi. That would contradict the 1973 Roe v Wade case that established the right to an abortion before around 24 weeks.

“We are incredibly grateful for Ms Scott’s extraordinary philanthropic investment in Planned Parenthood, as a critical part of the public health infrastructure,” Planned Parenthood Chief Executive Alexis MacGill Johnson said in a statement.

MacKenzie Scott donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity International and 84 of its US affiliates – the largest publicly disclosed donation from the billionaire philanthropist since pledging to give away the majority of her wealth. Habitat for Humanity / AP

“This funding will support our efforts to advance health equity by eliminating racial and structural barriers for our patients in the communities where Planned Parenthood works.”

In a Medium post on Wednesday, Ms Scott said she had donated more than $3.8 billion to 465 non-profit organisations, including Planned Parenthood, since last June.

“Our team’s focus over these last nine months has included some new areas, but as always our aim has been to support the needs of underrepresented people from groups of all kinds. The cause of equity has no sides,” she wrote.

On Tuesday, Habitat for Humanity announced that Ms Scott had donated $436m, which will go towards the organisation's efforts to boost cheaper housing and black home ownership.

Ms Scott was worth about $49bn as of Wednesday, Forbes reported.

Updated: March 23, 2022, 4:38 PM