Billionaire donates hundreds of millions to Planned Parenthood, including FL centers

By: - March 24, 2022 2:14 pm

Reproductive rights advocates gather in front of Florida’s Old Capitol on Oct. 2, 2021, to protest a Texas-style abortion bill that has been filed in Florida. The bill didn’t pass, but the Legislature did OK a 15-week cutoff for abortions. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

Since a 15-week abortion ban passed the Florida Legislature, the Planned Parenthood Federation of American has received $275 million to finance health care, including abortions, through its centers in Florida and across the nation.

The donation — the largest ever to Planned Parenthood — came from MacKenzie Scott, the philanthropist ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The money will benefit 21 Planned Parenthood affiliates, including Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, according to a press release.

“We’re incredibly grateful for this visionary gift from Ms. Scott to improve health equity in our community,” Stephanie Fraim, president and CEO of the Florida affiliates, said in a written statement.

“Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida plays an integral role in providing high-quality, affordable health care for people with and without insurance throughout Florida,” she said. “We will channel these funds to where they will have the greatest impact for all Floridians.”

The donation comes as abortion rights advocates prepare to cope with HB 5, approved by the Legislature earlier this month, prohibiting any physician from conducting most abortions after 15 weeks, with no exception for rape and incest.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated he will sign the measure into law.

Scott had outlined her gift recipient list in a Wednesday post on the platform called Medium, saying she’s donated nearly $3.9 billion to 465 nonprofits for “meaningful services for others.” She added that her team aims to “support the needs of underrepresented people from groups of all kinds.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, pointed in a written statement to health threats that disproportionately affect Black women, such as high rates of maternal mortality — that is, deaths of women during pregnancy, at delivery, or soon after delivering their newborns.

“This generous gift will fund the launch of PPFA’s Black Health Equity Initiative to better meet the needs of Black 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,” Johnson said.

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Issac Morgan
Issac Morgan

Issac Morgan is a 2009 graduate of Florida A&M University's School of Journalism, and a proud native of Tallahassee. He has covered city council and community events at the Gadsden County Times, worked as a sports news assistant at the Tallahassee Democrat, a communications specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and as a proofreader at the Florida Law Weekly.