Mackenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife, donates $275 million to abortion rights organization

The billionaire philanthropist has given a record amount to Planned Parenthood, a US healthcare group that provides services including termination of pregnancies

MacKenzie Scott Bezos
MacKenzie Scott in a file photo from 2018.Evan Agostini (AP)
Helena Poncini

Mackenzie Scott continues on her mission to donate most of her money in her lifetime. And as one of the richest women in the world, it’s a hefty amount. The philanthropist and ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a net worth of over $50 billion (around €45 billion), according to Forbes magazine, and in June she announced that she had donated $2.74 billion (around €2.5 billion) to 300 different nonprofit organizations. Now, she has donated $275 million to Planned Parenthood, according to the news agency Reuters. The donation is the largest that the American institution for family planning and women’s health has ever received from a single person.

The gift went to the organization’s national headquarters and 21 regional affiliates. Among the institution’s services is the termination of pregnancies through a network of clinics located throughout the country, including in Texas, which has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States. Planned Parenthood is one of the organizations that leads the country’s battle to defend the right to abortion.

It’s not the first time that Scott has donated to projects focused on women’s rights. Part of her June donations went to support institutions such as Fondo Semillas, an organization that supports the rights of women in Mexico, particularly those who belong to minority groups, such as indigenous women. Since last summer, according to Scott’s blog, which counts 21,000 followers, Scott has contributed more than $3.8 million (around €3.4 million) to 465 organizations. The list includes projects advocating for children’s rights, education and the Latino community, among others. “We have what we need to solve our shared problems. It’s as if the antidote is right there waiting in all that venom. We are all human. And we all have enormous energy to devote to helping and protecting those we love,” Scott wrote in a post published on Wednesday.

Scott, who is 51, is currently married to Dan Jewett, a science professor from Seattle. She owns 4% of Amazon’s shares as part of her divorce settlement with Jeff Bezos, founder of the online sales giant. The couple was married from 1993 to 2019.

Along with her husband, the philanthropist and mother of three made a pledge almost three years ago to donate most of her money during her lifetime, joining the Giving Pledge initiative founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Other adherents of the pledge include Elon Musk, the general director of SpaceX, and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

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