DENVER, Colorado, June 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Denver Catholic bishop is warning parents that membership in the Girl Scouts could carry the danger of making their daughters more receptive to the pro-abortion agenda.

In a Wednesday column for the Denver Catholic Register, Denver Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley observes 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.

He urges parents to browse for themselves the websites of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) to see the organization’s approach to “sexuality, ‘choice’, and reproductive issues,” saying this exercise “may be a sobering experience.”

The Girl Scouts have faced strong criticism especially in the last year after the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) revealed that they participated in a United Nations workshop distributing the Planned Parenthood sex education pamphlet “Happy, Healthy, and Hot.”

The pamphlet instructs young girls not to think of sex as “just about vaginal or anal intercourse.” “There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!” it states.

Just last month, two teenage girls went public with their decision to leave the Girl Scouts after eight years because of the organization’s ties to Planned Parenthood.

In his column, Bishop Conley quotes a youth minister who warned that girls who have been influenced by Girl Scouts USA will be “more receptive” to the pro-abortion and pro-contraception agenda.

“It’s hard to imagine that a girl who remains involved with Girl Scouts into young adulthood won’t eventually learn of the connections her organization has with ‘pro-choice’, pro-contraception and ‘reproductive freedom’ groups,” the youth minister wrote.  “If she was introduced to GSUSA through her parents and her local parish, then that will inevitably create contradictions between her Catholic faith and her Scouting experience.”

The bishop notes that Scouting’s structures allow local troops to have a certain amount of autonomy, but nevertheless he says the activities and orientations of the international and national Scout bodies have “an important trickle-down effect.”  “This is exactly why ‘pro-choice’ organizations have worked to develop connections with the Scouting movement,” he writes.

“Parents, as the primary educators of their children, have every right to insist that their beliefs, especially their moral and religious beliefs, be respected—not undermined—by the organizations to which they entrust their children,” he says.  “Parents need to remain alert to the content of their daughters’ activities. And Catholics involved in the Girl Scouting movement should make it clear to leadership that Scouting is only a means to an end—the proper formation of young character.”

“It’s not an end in itself; and should Scouting ever fail in that proper formation, other groups can be found or formed to take its place,” he concludes.


Contact Information:

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
World Bureau, Olave Centre
12c Lyndhurst Road
London NW3 5PQ
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7794 1181
Fax: +44 (0)20 7431 3764
Email: wagggs@wagggsworld.org

Girl Scouts of the USA
420 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10018-2798
Phone: (800) 478-7248
E-mail: Use this form.