What Is Bill Gates' Actual Connection To Planned Parenthood?

As one of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates has been subject to many rumors and a whole lot of speculation since he co-founded Microsoft alongside Paul Allen in 1975. The businessman's life has been a source of intrigue for many, no more so than after he announced on May 3 that he was splitting from his wife, Melinda Gates. The two were married for 27 years and share three children together.

Since they made the announcement in a joint statement posted to his Twitter account, there's been much speculation about what really went on between the now former couple. One particularly strange titbit that raised eyebrows was the news that, every year, Bill would spend a weekend with his former girlfriend and business partner Ann Winblad, which Melinda is reported to have approved of (via Daily Mail).

Other reports have claimed things turned nasty between Bill and Melinda and their family. A TMZ source alleged that there's "a considerable amount of acrimony associated with the split" and claimed that Bill's family have been "furious" with him, supposedly taking Melinda's side in their apparently not so friendly breakup.

But amid all this speculation about his private life, one rumor that's hounded the tech connoisseur for years is his apparent connection to Planned Parenthood. But what's the truth? Read on to find out.

Bill Gates' father was on the Planned Parenthood board

It's been rumored for years that Bill Gates had a strong connection to Planned Parenthood because of his father, the late William Gates Sr. There's been long-standing speculation that William ran the organization, which is not true. What is true is that Bill's father worked on the board, which he also did for a number of other companies, including United Way (per University of Washington Magazine).

Because of William's association with Planned Parenthood, an unfounded rumor began to spread suggesting Bill promoted the idea of eugenics — the practice of selective breeding — after being encouraged to by his dad. The claims have repeatedly spread across social media, with many sharing a headline from a blog post that didn't appear to provide any evidence for the claims. However, as reported by Snopes, there's never been any actual evidence to suggest Bill has ever supported eugenics and the whole theory appears to be a "wild assumption."

Bill has showed his support for Planned Parenthood, just not in the way some have suggested. In 1999, Bill and Melinda Gates donated $1.73 million to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was used to fund the South-North Adolescent Partnership, the Project to Combat Gender-Based Violence in Latin America, and Brothers for Change. In 2014, Melinda shared her thoughts on family planning and claimed (via CNS News) their foundation had "decided not to fund abortion."