By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A $20 million donation to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains this week will be used to help some of the organizations Wyoming patients, the group’s CEO told Cowboy State Daily Thursday.
MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, donated $20 million this week to PPRM, the largest donation in the Denver-based organization’s history. Overall, Scott donated $275 million to Planned Parenthood nationwide — also a record gift to the group nationally.
PPRM CEO Adrienne Mansanares told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday that the organization’s officials intend to use some of the donation to help its Wyoming patients, estimated at about 500 per year, through three different programs.
“Although we don’t have a physical location in Wyoming, we provide three different types of services and resources across the state,” Mansanares said. “One is the Wyoming Abortion Fund, so we will be able to support more people with that endowment. The second area we’re excited about is to start engaging with parents and community leaders about sexual health. Third, we do work through our app, such as providing birth control or urinary tract infection testing and treatment.
“Even though we’re not in Wyoming physically, it’s pretty amazing what we can do virtually,” she added.
Mansanares said that the Wyoming Abortion Fund was created by a donor around 20 years ago, and provides for anyone in Wyoming who needs help paying for an abortion. This fund can help with not only the procedure, but also travel, childcare costs and lodging.
Mansanares pointed out that most patients seeking an abortion are already parents and are focused on their current plans and goals, which usually do not include another child.
One of PPRM’s biggest goals for Wyoming is to get more sex education options and sexual health educators into the state.
“We suspended that work during the pandemic, but with a gift like this, we can reinvest back into sending some folks up to Wyoming,” Mansanares said. “Wyoming is blessed with some very committed professional working in public health spaces all across the state, so our goal would be to reach out to those folks to share our resources and know we’re always open to help.”
Mansanares did not specify how much of the donation might be used in Wyoming
PPRM serves patients in four states: Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico and southern Nevada. While they do have abortion-related services, the organization also provides cancer screenings, birth control, gender-affirming care and more.