Why Mackenzie Scott's $275 million donation to Planned Parenthood is so important
Planned Parenthood announced that MacKenzie Scott has donated a record-breaking amount of $275 million. That’s the single largest donation in Planned Parenthood history.This is one of the 465 organizations and institutions (including Habitat For Humanity, Boys & Girls Club of America and Urban Teachers, to name a few) that Scott has contributed to as part of her 2019 pledge to donate the majority of her wealth. But as political division continues to threaten access to sexual and reproduction healthcare (all of which Planned Parenthood provides) this action carries a different tone.
MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist and novelist, has given Planned Parenthood $275 million, the largest gift the nonprofit has ever received. https://t.co/NTnCeAjvDy
— NPR (@NPR) March 24, 2022
In a heartfelt statement written on Medium, Scott clearly conveyed how her decision to donate was beyond anything partisan.
“The increasing stridency of opinions in the news can be divisive. But lately I’ve heard something different in it. Turned up so loud, all I can notice is how similar it all sounds. The universal tendency to shout is an ironic reminder of how much we all have in common, as well as encouraging evidence that 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.”
As her statement continued, Scott mixed logic with heart perfectly while arguing the importance of helping those who are underrepresented.
She pointed out how helping one group helps us all, using the examples of bike lanes meant to protect cyclists also improved property for everyone, seat belt laws made for young children saved lives of all ages and how students of racially diverse schools achieved better learning outcomes.
“Those are just the positive ripple effects that can be easily counted,” she added.
“But the trend line is clear. Communities with a habit of removing obstacles for different subsets of people tend to get better for everyone.”
Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, wrote in a statement that the money would go toward improving health equity for patients of color by eliminating racial and structural barriers in the community.
She also reiterated the fact that Planned Parenthood is a critical part of the public health infrastructure.
This is incredibly important to remember as the organization is under fire for providing abortions, which only account for a portion of the provided services. Though there is much dispute over just how large that portion is, the fact is PP still helps provide birth control, contraceptives and healthcare to many who would not have it otherwise. This includes LGBT services like hormone therapy for transgender patients, another historically marginalized group currently facing crisis.
Scott’s act of kindness is philanthropy at its best. At a time when so many hard-won freedoms feel at risk, or when the constant chatter of derision drowns out hope for the future, it’s a gentle yet powerful reminder that generosity chooses no sides. It only exists to bring us together by placing everyone on equal ground. There is tremendous and exponential value to be gained (for everyone) by investing in people.
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