LONDON, November 16, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - The former chief executive of the UK’s Family Planning Association, the UK branch of Planned Parenthood, has been appointed as the new head of the country’s Girl Guide organization.
Julia Bentley said that she was delighted by her appointment to what she called “the ultimate feminist organization,” and indicated that under her leadership, Guiding will “offer girls what they really need.”
As head of the Family Planning Association, a post she held for five years, Bentley offered girls of any age online access to sex, contraception and abortion information, offered a “unique new condom demonstrator” for sale in their catalogue of “Resources for young people aged 11 and above,” and opened an online sex shop from the FPA website that sells sex toys to customers of any age, subject only to clicking a “yes” button saying they are over 18 because of “some of the products we sell use sexually explicit imagery.”
A columnist for The Times observed that Bentley’s appointment “marks a decisive shift for the Guides, away from a bastion of traditional values and wholesome activities for girls.”
However, Bentley insists that her previous work promoting sex and contraception to girls as young as 11 is not “at odds” with her appointment as head girl guide.
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“I have worked in a wide range of settings and I have a broad insight into what affects girls,” she said. “I don’t think any of this is at odds with the Girl Guides. In fact I believe the Guides is the ultimate feminist organization.”
“Girls today face real and unique challenges as they grow up,” Bentley said in Girlguiding News. “I want our program to continue responding to those changes, so that we always offer girls what they really need.”
Pro-family and Christian leaders have been critical of Bentley’s appointment, saying the new focus the sex-and-abortion campaigner will bring to the £85,000-a-year job would be detrimental to what Scouting founder Lord Baden-Powell envisioned as the purpose for the movement
Jill Kirby, an author and researcher specializing in social policy, told the Daily Mail, “One of the reasons why girls want to join the Guides, and their parents are happy that they should do so, is that they can learn leadership qualities and escape from the sex and television culture.”
“I would have hoped that anyone leading the Guides would understand that. I don’t believe that Miss Bentley does,” Kirby said.
Mike Judge of the UK’s Christian Institute believes Bentley represents a negative direction for the organization.
“The Girl Guides is an organization which should protect girls from these sorts of pressures,” Judge said. “I do not think she is a fitting individual to run the Girl Guides.”
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