When Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) gets criticized for their controversial practices, they usually offer vague statements and empty reassurances. Last week was no exception.
I suppose my recent Girl Scout article hit a nerve. Last week, GSUSA released a statement attempting to respond to the concerns I presented. I thought it was interesting that they responded to fairly insignificant me, a lone teenage girl. You see, Missouri Right to Life, a major player on the pro-life stage, recently issued a very informative and well-documented policy statement about GSUSA. GSUSA has been curiously quiet about those serious concerns.
As far as my article goes, I provided documentation for the following: the international Girl Scouts’ (WAGGGS’) participation in a pro-abortion conference, Women Deliver, along with WAGGGS’ radical advocacy for abortion and other controversial issues; GSUSA’s zealous promotion and generous financial support of WAGGGS; GSUSA’s pro-abortion “friends”: WAGGGS and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls; concerns surrounding GSUSA’s curriculum, used and promoted by every local Girl Scout council, which recommends girls work with and/or research many pro-abortion organizations. An image of Representative Pelosi and Secretary Sebelius presenting to girls at a GSUSA event was included as it relates to GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chávez’ favorite quote, “Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are,” the opening line and premise of my article.
In the GSUSA response, they completely ignored the extensive curriculum concerns that still remain after their 2012 review and revisions. You can learn more about the GSUSA curriculum concerns from ex-Girl Scout Madelyn through this video.
So how exactly does GSUSA try to explain away the concerns I addressed in my article?
GSUSA’s recent statement reads “Girl Scouts of the USA was not among the 2,500 organizations that participated in the conference covered in the story. WAGGGS attended with one staff member and three young women.” I never claimed GSUSA was present at Women Deliver. My article stated that the international Girl Scout group, WAGGGS, with a specific focus on sexual and reproductive rights, attended Women Deliver, where they worked with abortion rights advocates and abortion providers. Here are some images that the WAGGGS Women Deliver delegates posted from the event.
GSUSA also attempts to minimize its involvement in WAGGGS: “As you may be aware, GSUSA is one of 145 WAGGGS member organizations.” So GSUSA is just a tiny part of WAGGGS, about 0.7%, right? That is what this statement implies, but it isn’t quite that simple. GSUSA is by far the largest member of WAGGGS, making up 2.4 million of WAGGGS’ 10 million girl members and contributing nearly 1 million of WAGGGS’ 1.5 million adult members. GSUSA also supplies WAGGGS with over a million dollars a year for their membership quota payment, based on the number of GSUSA members. GSUSA doesn’t deny these facts, but they never seem to highlight them when discussing WAGGGS. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
WAGGGS claims every GSUSA member as their own. According to the WAGGGS website, “Anyone who is a Girl Guide or a Girl Scout is automatically a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).”
GSUSA also confirms that GSUSA members are WAGGGS members on page 24 of the GSUSA leader guide, Daisy Flower Garden (see the page scan here). When you consider that GSUSA FAQs claim that GSUSA members are not members of WAGGGS, the discrepancy starts to get a bit awkward, with the Girl Scouts talking out of both sides of their mouths.
GSUSA’s statement also reads “GSUSA does not always take the same positions or endorse the same programs as WAGGGS.” When you look at the radical nature of WAGGGS’ work with Planned Parenthood and many other abortion advocates at Women Deliver, WAGGGS’ advocacy for abortion and decriminalization of “sex work” at the Bali Youth Forum, and the fact that WAGGGS commonly claims they represent 10 million girls (including GSUSA members), don’t GSUSA members deserve a more detailed, precise explanation of GSUSA’s position on these matters? (See WAGGGS Rio+20 delegate, Maggie, proclaim she can’t wait to represent WAGGGS’ 10 million members.)
Will GSUSA denounce WAGGGS’ recent advocacy work at these pro-abortion events or not? Based on the GSUSA refusal to repudiate WAGGGS’ controversial involvement in the December 2012 Bali Youth Forum, I’m not holding my breath.
Concerned scouts also report that GSUSA’s emailed response to their inquires stated that “the Girl Scout organization, including local Councils, does not take a position on abortion or birth control, nor do we endorse or provide funding to organizations such that advocate on these issues.” Now I apologize, but I can’t help but laugh at this.
Given everything WAGGGS has done over the last year at Women Deliver, Bali, and Rio+20, and GSUSA’s own admission that they fund WAGGGS, this is a ludicrous statement. Also, keep in mind that GSUSA and the local New York Girl Scout Council (GSGNY) recently promoted and recommended a documentary honoring pro-abortion women for their work to advance reproductive rights. (Read about it here.)
When you look at the facts, they speak for themselves. GSUSA is pretty good at putting on a show, but I’m not buying it. I think American families are smarter than that too.
LifeNews Note: Sydney is a 17-year old ex-Girl Scout from Texas and co-founder of speaknowgirlscouts.com.