WASHINGTON, January 29, 2014 – The leadership of Girl Scouts of America, once a trusted purveyor of American values, has been moving to the left for over a decade. However, GSUSA’s local and national growing partnership with abortion industry leader Planned Parenthood has raised the ire of local and national pro-life leaders to the point that they are now calling for a boycott of the iconic Girl Scouts’ annual cookie sale.
“I am offended that the Girl Scouts honor pro-abortion activists like Wendy Davis and Kathleen Sebelius and hold them up as leaders to be emulated by our young women and girls,” said John Pisciotta, director of Pro-Life Waco, who is spearheading the effort.
Wendy Davis is the pink-shoed legislator in Texas who (unsuccessfully) filibustered new health regulations in Texas that would disallow abortions of preborn babies after 20 weeks and would also require doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles—in case surgical abortions go wrong.
A National Journal poll shows that a plurality of Americans support a 20-week ban.
Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary and former governor of Kansas, is so extreme in promoting abortion that her own bishop of the Catholic Church took the extraordinary measure of banning her from receiving the Church’s highest sacrament, Holy Communion.
Radical social movements strive to infiltrate organizations trusted by the opposition and convert them into proxies for their own agenda. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger did it with her “Negro Project” that used trusted black leaders like Mary McLeod Bethune, W. E. B. DuBois, and Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. to promote contraception and abortion as bettering the plight of poor blacks. In reality, the Negro Project was, from the start, largely based on eugenics. It was indifferent to the needs of the black community and more concerned with unchecked black fertility.
Today, we have what some might call Planned Parenthood’s “Girl Scout Project.” From local councils to senior leadership, GSUSA is becoming heavily involved in promoting what Judie Brown, president of American Life League, calls the contraceptive mentality—sex without conscience or consequence.
The organization MyGirlScoutCouncil.com offers dozens of links to events hosted by or promoted by local councils connected to pro-abortion advocacy. For example, on page 41 of the GSUSA publication Your Voice Your World, girls are encouraged to explore such organizations as the Population Council, a group that works internationally to increase access to abortion.
Many pro-family and pro-life groups feel GSUSA has been radicalized by liberal progressives and can no longer be trusted with the shaping of young girls.
“The Girl Scouts were once a trusted organization dedicated to character building in young girls and women. Now, GSUSA is abusing that trust,” said Brown. “Most parents and grandparents remain painfully unaware that GSUSA has introduced so-called ‘family planning’ ideology in its curriculum and promotes groups like Planned Parenthood to our daughters and granddaughters.”
In 2011, in the Denver Catholic Register, Denver Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley observed that, in the last year, a growing number of parents and youth ministers have shared concerns with him over the Girl Scouts’ alignment with groups advocating abortion.
Conley urged parents to review the GSUSA and World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. He said the exercise “may be a sobering experience” when families see the organization’s approach to “sexuality, ‘choice,’ and reproductive issues.”
For example, GSUSA participated in a United Nations workshop in 2010 where the Planned Parenthood sex education pamphlet Happy, Healthy, and Hot was distributed. The pamphlet instructs young girls not to think of sex as “just about vaginal or anal intercourse.” Rather, the pamphlet says, “There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore, and be yourself!”
Two former Girl Scouts, Tess and Sydney, left the organization after eight years and created the website Speak Now: Girl Scouts after becoming aware of GSUSA’s involvement in the Girls Only Workshop at the United Nations. They stated:
Leaving Girl Scouts was not a casual, easy, or convenient decision. Girl Scouts was a huge part of our lives that included a bond with our best friends. . . . While we recognized the many good things about Girl Scouts, we had to ask ourselves: Will we stand for our beliefs, for the dignity of life, the sanctity of marriage, modesty, purity? Or will we remain true to Girl Scouts? We cannot see any way to truly do both.
“Girl Scout USA (GSUSA) is quick to assure concerned members that the national level of the organization has no partnership with Planned Parenthood. But GSUSA fails to disclose further relevant information,” says Christy Volanski, the mother of the two former Girl Scouts, and a former Girl Scout member and troop leader herself.
Volanski points to GSUSA’s membership in the Coalition for Adolescent Girls, “a collaboration of about 40 organizations, in which GSUSA joins international abortion provider Marie Stopes and many other pro-abortion organizations to address global issues affecting girls. The coalition’s agenda specifically advocates for abortion-related care and comprehensive sex education for adolescent girls.”
Is GSUSA hiding its abortion agenda? A search of the GSUSA website for the word “abortion” yields no results. However, a search for “family planning” yields four pages of results.
In addition, the GSUSA curriculum promotes pro-abortion icons like Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, and Betty Friedan, founder of NARAL, as role models to be emulated by Girl Scouts.
So what about the cookies?
According to Volanski, the GSUSA will try to assure you that all the proceeds from cookie sales stay local to benefit girls in their community. In reality, GSUSA makes millions of dollars each year through licensing fees paid by the baker.
Moreover, while the girls themselves keep, on average, approximately 15 percent of the purchase price, the local councils—that introduce girls to a pro-abortion worldview—keep the lion’s share of the profit from cookie sales.
Combining Planned Parenthood with the Girl Scouts may prove to make a bitter cookie.
Paul E. Rondeau’s research and writing on social issues has been translated in six languages, appeared in law journals, private publications, and the popular press. His work has been cited at the U.S. Supreme Court, United Nations and by best-selling authors. He is founder and president of Synapse Associates, a conservative communication, training, and consulting firm.