Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' ex-wife MacKenzie Scott donates US$275 million to Planned Parenthood

MacKenzie Scott is among the billionaires who have signed a pledge to give away the majority of their wealth to charity. PHOTO: MACKENZIE SCOTT/INSTAGRAM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated US$275 million (S$373.29 million) to Planned Parenthood, a leading advocate for abortion rights in the United States.

Planned Parenthood said Scott's donation to the group's national office and 21 affiliates was the largest gift from a single donor in the history of the organisation, which operates clinics focused on reproductive and sexual health across the country.

Planned Parenthood noted that the gift comes as conservative states roll back abortion rights and the US Supreme Court is poised to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that held that access to abortion is a woman's constitutional right.

"We are incredibly grateful for Ms. Scott's extraordinary philanthropic investment," said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

"As we face the most serious attacks on access to abortion that we've seen in a generation, PPFA is proud to play a vital role in ensuring access to essential health care," she said.

Planned Parenthood said Scott's support will help it "work as hard as ever to ensure equitable access to sexual and reproductive health care and education, especially abortion care."

The donation to Planned Parenthood was announced one day after Scott donated US$436 million to Habitat for Humanity and dozens of affiliates of the homebuilding non-governmental organisation.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America announced last week that Scott donated US$281 million to the US non-profit devoted to providing programmes and support for young people.

Scott is among the billionaires who have signed a pledge to give away the majority of their wealth to charity.

She has already donated billions of dollars to hundreds of different charities and organisations devoted to race, gender and economic equality and other causes.

Scott had a net worth of about US$49 billion as of Tuesday, according to a Forbes wealth index.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Scott listed the 465 non-profits that have been given US$3.86 billion since June alone.

"As always our aim has been to support the needs of underrepresented people from groups of all kinds," she said. "The cause of equity has no sides."

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