On March 23, Planned Parenthood announced that it has received one of its biggest donations from billionaire philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott. MacKenzie has donated US $275 million to Planned Parenthood's national office and 21 of its affiliates in the US. MacKenzie's donation is the largest donation Plannet Parenthood has received in the last 100 years.
MacKenzie currently hold 4% of Amazon's stock after her divorce with Amazon Founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. After her divorce, she made a pledge to give away the majority of her wealth that she had acquired from the divorce.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD'S RESPONSE: The President and CEO of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement, "We are incredibly grateful for Ms. Scott’s extraordinary philanthropic investment in Planned Parenthood, as a critical part of the public health infrastructure. There is no question that we are living through a crisis for sexual and reproductive health and rights in this country."
He further added, "As we face the most serious attacks on access to reproductive health care that we’ve seen in a generation, we know this moment requires us to be innovative and to double down on our efforts to ensure everyone has equitable access to health care, including abortion."
Alexis also said, "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. We know Black women experience disproportionately higher rates of maternal mortality, STIs, and will be most hurt by the loss of abortion access in the South and Midwest."
"By starting with the Black health experience in partnership with local communities, we see this as an opportunity to not only improve health outcomes for Black patients, but to transform how all patients, especially those of color and those in rural and low income communities, experience our health care, education, and organizing efforts. In future years, I hope this is what it means to Be Seen", he also said.
Planned Parenthood. Photo: AFP
WHY PLANNED PARENTHOOD NEEDS THE MONEY: Planned Parenthood is known to provide abortions and other healthcare services at its clinics around the country to women and people who identify as female. The NGO is currently at the forefront of a political battle in the US and is under attack from the country's conservative leaders.
Conservative Republican leaders are currently putting in all effort to pass anti-abortion laws in the country. Republican-led states have been able to pass tight restrictions on abortion. There is almost a near-total ban on abortions in Texas that has received major backlash from residents in the state, and in the country.
Back in 2021, the Texas government banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. In 2022, more than 300 abortion restrictions have been placed in 41 states. The Supreme Court is also willing to bring back Mississippi's abortion ban, which could easily overturn Roe in Roe v Wade.