Co-authored with John Jalsevac
February 5, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Soon millions of Americans will be buying Thin Mints from Girl Scouts at churches, street corners, and at neighbors' homes. But according to Human Life Alliance, American Life League, My Girl Scouts Council, and Live Action, those concerned about the sanctity of human life should consider boycotting the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) over the organization's links to pro-abortion organizations and individuals.
The groups are organizing a Tweetfest on Thursday, urging Americans to use the hashtag #Cookiecott on Twitter to draw attention to GSUSA's associations with Planned Parenthood and other abortion organizations and abortion supporters.
The Tweetfest will take place on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Central Standard Time.
“The Girl Scouts were once a trusted organization dedicated to character building in young girls and women. Now, GSUSA is abusing that trust,” said American Life League President Judie Brown this week. “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.”
A website set up to promote the Cookiecott criticizes GSUSA for recommending pro-abortion role models, connecting girls to “inappropriate sexual content via official Girl Scout social media accounts,” and for sending millions of dollars to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which the website says “aggressively promotes youth reproductive/abortion and sexual rights, specifically on behalf of its 10 million members.”
One recent event that sparked the pro-life backlash was when GSUSA sent out a tweet last year on its Twitter account that seemed to support honoring pro-abortion politicians Wendy Davis and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as “Women of the Year” in 2013.
In a response to that controversy, GSUSA Chief Communications Executive Kelly Parisi told LifeSiteNews that the “confusion stems from an auto-populated tweet linking to an article that mentioned newsmakers from 2013. The tweet simply asked folks to share their opinions about which women should be added to a year-end discussion about news makers in 2013.”
GSUSA also publicly apologized on its blog for the tweet, saying its “intentions were good.” Parisi says GSUSA “does not endorse candidates or take any position on political issues.”
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Parisi also repeated GSUSA’s denials that the organization has associations with Planned Parenthood, saying it “does not and will not have a partnership with Planned Parenthood. We have never distributed any materials developed by Planned Parenthood.”
But pro-life activists say they are unconvinced by GSUSA’s denials. In a national survey in 2004, sixteen Girl Scout councils admitted to partnering with Planned Parenthood, around 25 percent of the councils who responded to the survey. That survey was launched after Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. CEO Kathy Cloninger told NBC News, “We have relationships…with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls.”
GSUSA spokeswoman Parisi herself has sparked controversy in recent months, after pro-life activists learned that she moved to her position with the scouting organization directly from her former job as vice president of marketing and communications for the strongly pro-abortion Ms. Foundation for Women, which lists “Reproductive Rights and Health” (including support for taxpayer-funded abortion) first on its list of issues.
Abortion is not the only issue dogging GSUSA. The organization has what TheAdvocate.com calls “LGBT-inclusive policies” that have drawn opposition from pro-family groups. Last year, over 90 Girl Scouts marched in the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade in uniform, while holding Girl Scouts banners.