Jane Fonda's Philanthropy: A Hollywood Legend Keys in on Reproductive Health

Jane Fonda followed in her legendary actor father's footsteps and has made a big name in Hollywood herself. She's won Oscars for Klute and Coming Home, and more recently was on The Newsroom and Grace and Frankie. It's unclear how much she's currently worth, but one estimate puts the actress's net worth at $120 million.

Apart from her prominence in Hollywood, Fonda also has a long record of activism, of course. She supported the civil rights movement and spoke out in opposition to Vietnam; she was controversially photographed on an anti-aircraft gun in Hanoi. In a very different phase of her life, she made substantantial money as a video fitness guru.

Fonda has also engaged in philanthropy, establishing the Fonda Family Foundation and the Jane Fonda Foundation in the late 1990s and mid 2000s, respectively. Women's reproductive health and rights have figured prominently in her nonprofit work.

In the mid-1990s, Fonda founded the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GCAPP). She was married to billionaire media mogul Ted Turner at the time and had strong ties to the state, which then had the highest rate of adolescent pregnancy in the nation. In 1994, Fonda attended the U.N. Conference on Population and Development as the Goodwill Ambassador to the U.N.'s Population Fund, and upon return, set about to make a change in the Peachtree State. 

As she has powerfully described:

I traveled to different parts of the state to talk to our own frontline workers and to learn about adolescent life here. At that time, more than 29,000 teens were becoming pregnant annually in Georgia. I remember looking into the eyes of a 14-year-old girl in a hospital in Albany, Georgia, who was in labor with her 2nd child. I was told she lived in a shack that lacked running water and electricity. I knew intuitively that unless one could change the conditions of her life there would probably be more children to come. Even assuming there was a family planning clinic accessible to her and affordable, what would motivate this child to use these services? What future could she see for herself that would be compromised by having children so soon?

GCAPP's mission is to "improve the overall health and well-being of young people in Georgia to ensure a more powerful future for us all." GCAPP's programs are Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Physical Activity & Nutrition, and Healthy Relationships. Fonda steadily supports GCAPP via her Fonda Family Foundation and Jane Fonda Foundation. Other grantees include New Mexico State University, the Grammar School, City Charter Elementary School, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and Young Storytellers Foundation, a nonprofit in Los Angeles that teaches youth screenwriting.

Emory University is also an important site of her philanthropy, and home to the Jane Fonda Center, whose mission is to "advance scientific knowledge about adolescence with an emphasis on adolescent reproductive health." Fonda has given Emory millions.

Fonda also supports environmental and human services organizations, as well as other outfits via her foundation. Fonda may also have more direct avenues of charity work, and some important gifts may be missing from this rundown. For a complete overview of this funder, read our profile of Jane Fonda linked below.

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