Girl Scouts in Texas Cause Uproar With Planned Parenthood Support

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 16, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Girl Scouts in Texas Cause Uproar With Planned Parenthood Support

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
February 16, 2004

Waco, TX ( — Pro-life groups in the Waco area are calling for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies, following a regional girl scout organization’s support of a Planned Parenthood event. Two area troops have pulled out of the organization over the Scouting organization’s relationship with the nation’s largest abortion business.

The Bluebonnet Council of the Girl Scouts, to which 6,000 girls in 14 counties belong, has been criticized by pro-life groups for its sponsorship of Planned Parenthood’s "Nobody’s Fool" event aimed at educating minors about sexual education. The "education" includes literature saying abortion is an acceptable practice, Donna Coody of Brownie Troop 7087 told the Waco Tribune-Herald.

The Girl Scout council has also recognized Planned Parenthood of Waco’s chief executive, Pam Smallwood, as a "Woman of Distinction."

"I applaud the local pro-lifers for taking on this issue because Planned Parenthood of Central Texas is such an aggressive promoter of abortion in Waco," said Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.

"By their own admission, Planned Parenthood performed 1,098 abortions in 2001 in their own Waco abortion facility, the latest year statistics are available," Pojman added, referring to a document entitled "A Declaration of Pamela Smallwood," one of the documents involved in a lawsuit against the State of Texas prohibiting the local Planned Parenthood affiliate from using tax dollars directly or indirectly for abortions.

Parents of girls involved in the scouting program were upset by the news.

"That’s not who I want as a role model for my daughter," said Lisa Aguilar, mother of a 10-year-old Girl Scout who broke down into tears when her parents explained Planned Parenthood’s role in abortions.

According to the conference’s organizers, Planned Parenthood’s annual half-day event instructs 400-700 boys and girls in grades 5 through 9 "about the changes of puberty, dating, peer pressure, sexually transmitted diseases and aids and pregnancy prevention," and reportedly does not address abortion.

A public service announcement on local Christian radio station KBDE-FM encourages a boycott of the Girl Scout’s annual cookie sale, which commenced on Friday, in protest of its affiliation with Planned Parenthood.

"The 2003 [Nobody’s Fool] conference brought the assault on Christian sexual morality to a new level by distributing the graphic book, ‘It’s Perfectly Normal.’ I cannot describe on a family radio station the incredible content of this book," says John Pisciotta from Pro-Life Waco in the announcement.

Local pro-life advocates are receiving praise from many pro-life groups for their actions.

"The scouts and leaders in Waco who recognize that Planned Parenthood is harmful to women and the community are to be commended for their moral courage," Elizabeth Graham, executive director of Texas Right to Life told "Girl Scouts promote independence and strength among young women, yet [these] Girl Scouts are tied to an organization who preys upon and victimizes women."

Bluebonnet Council Executive Director Beth Vivio said the council’s board will review the decision to continue to sponsor the event at its March 25 meeting.

According to Smallwood and Vivio, they have received much support for the relationship – an idea apparent in the deluge of letters to the editor of the Tribune-Herald criticizing the cookie fast. Twelve area churches also support the "Nobody’s Fool" program.