March 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Meghna Gopalan, a student at Basis Tucson North High School in Arizona, received the Girl Scouts Gold Award (the organization’s highest) for helping to raise funds and increase participation in the January 2018 Women’s March in Tucson.
In a story published by Tucson.com, Gopalan said she won the award by hosting an event “to educate people about and de-stigmatize access to women's healthcare.”
She also said she has been cooperating with El Rio Reproductive Health Access Project (RHAP) on “reproductive health justice” since becoming interested in the issue after viewing the nomination hearings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. Kavanaugh was opposed by progressives and Planned Parenthood because of his presumed pro-life leanings.
While the Girl Scouts organization has disavowed official connections to contraception and abortion providers, according to the pro-life MyGirlScoutCouncil.com, the organization has maintained relationships with Planned Parenthood for decades and celebrated pro-abortion and progressive politicians such as Michelle Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
MyGirlScoutCouncil.com — which was founded by former Girl Scouts — has noted that the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) official curriculum promotes abortion advocates such as Madeleine Albright, Geraldine Ferraro, Betty Friedan, and Gloria Steinem.
In 2018, GSUSA encouraged Girl Scouts to participate in the Women's March, which was directed against President Donald Trump and featured thousands of women wearing pink “pussyhats.” Pro-life women were excluded.
According to Breitbart News, Christy Volanski of MyGirlScoutCouncil.com said of the ties between the Girl Scouts and the abortion industry, “At the very least, it’s a cozy relationship.”
MyGirlScoutCouncil.com has chronicled the decades-long relationship between Planned Parenthood and GSUSA. Even so, Girls Scouts USA maintains that with regard to abortion, birth control and sexuality, it “does not take a position or develop materials on these issues.”
The organization also denies it has “a relationship or partnership with Planned Parenthood.” But GSUSA has also been linked to Marie Stopes International, an organization that provides abortions around the world.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Ann Saladin of MyGirlScoutCouncil.com said she has been unable to establish a direct financial link between GSUSA and Planned Parenthood. However, she said there is plenty of evidence of “political and cultural links” between the Girl Scouts and abortion providers and progressive causes.
The Girl Scouts website, for example, proclaims that “(e)very Girl Scout and Girl Guide organization is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts — and each Member Organization, including Girl Scouts of the USA, pays dues.” The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) advocates globally for abortion rights and sex education. Girl Scouts USA has compared its participation in WAGGGS to the U.S. membership in the United Nations.
LifeSiteNews interviewed Rochelle Focaracci, a former leader of a Girl Scout troop who said that the national organization’s “money trail” to abortion is indisputable. Focaracci, co-editor of GirlScoutsWhyNot.com, said Girl Scouts USA pays an annual membership fee of $1.8 million to WAGGS.
“WAGGGS advocates for contraception and ‘abortion rights’ on behalf of its girl members,” she said.
Focaracci said WAGGGS is also tied to the UN Population Fund and its agenda, which includes free access to abortion and contraception for minors, sexual education for children, and protection of “right to privacy” to permit minors to hide their pregnancies and abortions from parents.
Additionally, Girl Scout councils and individual troops at the local level are allowed to cooperate with Planned Parenthood. In an October 2004 video, erstwhile Girl Scouts USA CEO Kathy Cloninger said that Girl Scouts does indeed partner with Planned Parenthood.
“We partner with many organizations,” Cloninger said. “We have relationships with our church communities, with YWCAs, and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls.”
Recent activity by GSUSA includes a partnership with the Teen Vogue Summit, according to MyGirlScoutCouncil.com, which focused on reproductive justice and LGBTQ rights. Teen Vogue Summit featured former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, current Planned Parenthood youth organizer Sharim Hossain, and Andrea Archibald of GSUSA.
March 10 was “Girl Scout Sunday” when many Girl Scouts attend Sunday divine services in uniform. The website of Girl Scouts of West Central Florida noted, for example, that the purpose of Girl Scout Sunday is to emphasize that each Girl Scout “will try to serve God.” The website asserted that the “Motivating Force in Girl Scouting is Spiritual,” and quoted the preamble of the GSUSA constitution: “We, the members of Girl Scouts of the United States of America, united by a belief in God and by acceptance of the Girl Scout Promise and Law … ”
According to the Girl Scout Blue Book, however, GSUSA does not seek to define who “God” is. The Blue Book says GSUSA “makes no attempt to define or interpret the word ‘God’ in the Girl Scout Promise. It looks to individual members to establish for themselves the nature of their spiritual beliefs. When making the Girl Scout Promise, individuals may substitute wording appropriate to their own spiritual beliefs for the word ‘God.’”
Some churches and pro-life organizations have expressed concerns about GSUSA’s connections to the abortion industry. For example, Missouri Right to Life notes on its website: “Because Girl Scouts USA promotes, both directly and indirectly through other organizations, policies and behaviors clearly contradictory to the goals and purposes of Missouri Right to Life, Missouri Right to Life urges citizens to consider carefully whether to participate in Girl Scouts or support them in any way.”
In 2016, Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis issued a letter to his diocese saying GCUSA promotes values “incompatible” with the Gospel.