WASHINGTON, D.C., February 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — There was a time not so long ago that Rochelle Focaracci and her young daughter Madelyn both loved the Girl Scouts. While Madelyn enjoyed gathering with her friends each week to learn new skills and dream about changing the world, Rochelle valued the quality time she spent with her daughter as a leader for Madelyn’s troop.
The Focaracci family saw the Girl Scouts as wholesome family edutainment – a way to help Madelyn grow into a strong and confident young woman while having a lot of fun along the way. So needless to say, they were unprepared when in 2008, Focaracci’s sister Lisa Larsson contacted them, full of concern, asking them to reconsider their affiliation with the organization. A few things Larsson had heard about the group had led her to dig deeper, and what she found filled her with fear for her niece’s soul.
Larsson and Focaracci are both devout Roman Catholics, raising their children in the Catholic faith. For Madelyn, that means she’s been raised to value all human life from conception until natural death, to live chastely, and to treat her body as a temple of the Lord – keeping it healthy, clean and pure.
But it turned out that the Girl Scouts have very different goals in mind, not just for Madelyn and her ten million sister scouts, but for every girl and woman in the world. Larsson’s research had revealed that certain parts of the Girl Scouts’ worldwide agenda stood in direct opposition to everything her sister and niece believed in – especially when it came to issues of sexual morality.
To her horror, the group had quietly developed deep and lasting ties with abortion and birth control giant Planned Parenthood; the pro-abortion Girls, Inc.; and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which works closely with the UN Population Fund to promote the widespread use of contraception around the world, especially by young girls.
In short, the Girl Scouts were actively participating in activities Larsson’s and Focaracci’s faith holds to be evil. What was more, Focaracci had been unwittingly contributing to their efforts with her own dues dollars.
Although Focaracci had loved Scouting, the choice seemed clear – she and Madelyn would have to quit the organization. Focaracci resigned from the Girl Scouts the day after 2009’s “World Thinking Day” – a WAGGGS-sponsored annual event during which girls participate in activities related to the year’s theme, which in recent years has usually been one of the UN’s controversial Millennium Development Goals. (2009’s theme was HIV and AIDS prevention. To see the activities WAGGGS assigned young girls in relation to this theme, click here.)
But just cutting ties with the Girl Scouts wasn’t enough. Focaracci and Larsson felt they had to get the word out to other pro-life parents who were in the dark about the Girl Scouts’ secret ties to the culture of death. So they teamed up to create the website Girl Scouts Why Not in order to share the information they’d already found, and resolved to keep a close eye on the Scouts to begin demanding accountability for their actions.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews at the recent March for Life in Washington, D.C., Focaracci said that as she and her sister have continued to expose the Scouts’ close ties with Planned Parenthood and other radical sexual interest groups, they have run into increasing numbers of former Scouts online who are blowing the whistle on other scandals and secrets.
“All of us collaborate together,” Focaracci told LifeSiteNews. “Where one website lacks information, [an]other website seems to do a great job with it. So they’re all equally important.”
Focaracci says that in her opinion, the biggest source of scandal for the Girl Scouts – especially Catholic, pro-life Girl Scouts – is WAGGGS, which receives a portion of every member’s dues. The group is very closely tied to the UN Population Fund and its agenda, including graphic sexual education from the earliest ages, free access to contraceptives and abortion for minors, and protection of children’s “right to privacy” when it comes to hiding sexual activities and their consequences from their parents.
“WAGGGS has identified the importance of talking about sex as a priority issue on which to take a stand and speak out,” the group boasts on its website, adding that its members dream of a day when young girls “can freely and openly discuss issues of sex and sexuality without fear of discrimination or judgment.”
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Another key concern is the Girl Scout handbook, which Focaracci calls “dirty.” The book recommends several pro-abortion advocacy groups as potential beneficiaries of Scouts’ volunteer efforts, and portrays pro-abortion activists as role models.
“They hold up these abortion advocates, known abortion advocates,” Focaracci said, flipping through page after page of evidence she’s gathered in the form of Girl Scout PowerPoint slides and handbook pages praising women like Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and even NARAL’s Betty Friedan.
Focaracci encouraged Scouting families who want to learn more about the Girl Scouts’ ties to abortion to visit her website, Girl Scouts Why Not, and spread the word to other families as well. It is her hope that if the Girl Scouts continue to promote the culture of death, pro-life families will abandon them and seek out groups like American Heritage Girls, a pro-life, Christian alternative to the Girl Scout organization that Focaracci jokingly describes as “like Girl Scouts, but without the sin.”
Focaracci admits that the change may feel difficult at first, but she believes the sacrifice will be worth it in the end.
“It’s hard to leave Girl Scouts,” Focaracci said. “We loved being part of the Girl Scouts; it was our social activity. I love being with my daughter, her friends and their mothers. Our whole life changed when we decided to leave.”
But “families deserve the truth,” said Focaracci. “We need many more voices to get this information out. There’s a great alternative.”