Nebraska Girl Scout Organization Hires Planned Parenthood Lobbyist
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
June 21, 2004
Omaha, NE (LifeNews.com) — A former Planned Parenthood official has been appointed to lead the Great Plains Council of the Girl Scouts of America, a move that concerns pro-life organizations.
Beverly Todd Nolte, a former vice president of marketing and lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs, now leads the 11,000 member organization for girls.
"It would be naive to believe that Nolte’s appointment is a coincidence, or that it won’t translate into a stronger Planned Parenthood influence over the young girls who are a part of this council," said Jim Sedlak, executive director of STOPP International, a group that opposes Planned Parenthood.
"For the past three years, Ms. Nolte has been focused on marketing Planned Parenthood’s message, as well as serving as one of its lobbyists to local government," Sedlak explained. "It is only natural to connect the dots and realize that this is the same message she will now try to sell to the children involved in the Great Plains Council."
Nolte has even defended a program informing teens on how to bypass Nebraska’s parental notification law.
"We see it as an issue of information teens need to have, we’re standing up for teens’ rights," Nolte said in January 11 article in the Omaha World-Herald.
The board of directors at the Great Plains Council that unanimously nominated Nolte cited her 15 years of non-profit work and varied background, including the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Nebraska Cattlemen, State of Nebraska, and Land O’ Lakes.
"The board is very pleased to have this talented, articulate leader join our organization," said Linda B. Willis, board president.
"Beverly is a strong communicator and relationship-builder with a broad range of fund development successes," Willis explained. "Possession of these qualities was an essential priority when we set out on our journey to find our next executive director. Beverly has a deep passion for youth development and we are confident in her ability and desire to help girls and young women grow strong."
STOPP, which has been monitoring the Planned Parenthood affiliations across the country, changed their report on the Great Plains Council following Nolte’s appointment.
"On March 19 we received an e-mail from the Great Plains Council informing us that they had no relationship with Planned Parenthood," said Sedlak. "Obviously, that has now changed."
Currently 25 of the 108 girl scout councils STOPP has classified (23%) have a relationship with Planned Parenthood.
STOPP’s investigation into Girl Scout councils across the country comes after Girl Scouts of America CEO Kathy Cloninger stated that Girl Scouts partner with many groups, including Planned Parenthood, during an interview on NBC’s "Today" show in March.
Cloninger was on the program to discuss a Girl Scout cookie boycott in the Waco, Texas area that resulted in the ending of a decade-long relationship with the Bluebonnet Council and the local Planned Parenthood affiliate.
Less than three weeks after John Pisciotta of Pro-Life Waco called for a boycott of the annual Girl Scout cookie sale, the board of directors of the Waco area council voted to end their partnership with Planned Parenthood of Central Texas.
The February decision came almost a month earlier than expected, as Council Director Beth Vivio said previously that the council would take up the issue at their meeting on March 25.
Pisciotta, an economics professor at Baylor University, said the boycott alone did not provide the pressure to end the relationship.
"The pressure came when local, web, and national news outlets picked up the story," Pisciotta told LifeNews.com. "The result was a firestorm of protest about the local Girl Scout and Planned Parenthood entanglement."
According to Pisciotta, several troops in the Waco and Houston areas disbanded or severed ties with the national Girl Scout Organization during the Waco boycott.
Girl Scouts of the USA – http://www.girlscouts.org