Girl Scouts: "We Partner With Planned Parenthood Organizations"

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 9, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Girl Scouts: “We Partner With Planned Parenthood Organizations” by Paul Nowak Staff Writer March 9, 2004 girlscouts2Washington, DC ( — Pro-life advocates thought the battle was over when the Texas Bluebonnet Council of the Girl Scouts severed ties with Planned Parenthood, ending a decade of support for the abortion business’ programs for youth and clergy. That changed when Kathy Cloninger, CEO of the Girl Scouts of America, appeared on NBC’s “Today” show Friday morning to discuss the boycott. “The Girl Scouts in Waco, Texas, really made a decision based on local community context, they decided that in this particular situation that it would be in the best interest of girls and their families to discontinue the relationship with Planned Parenthood,” said Cloninger. Cloninger explained that Girl Scouts of America addresses the challenges girls face in today’s world, including issues regarding sexuality and body image. “We partner with many organizations. 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,” added Cloninger. The frank admission of the national Girl Scouting organization’s CEO regarding relationships with the nation’s largest abortion business and its affiliates stunned John Pisciotta of Pro-Life Waco, who had called for the Waco-area boycott by running spots on a local Christian radio station. “I had thought that Girl Scouts was backing away from Planned Parenthood nationwide. I was totally wrong,” said Pisciotta, who was also interviewed on the Today Show segment. “Kathy Cloninger made it crystal clear that the split only applies to the Bluebonnet Council of Texas. Other councils in Texas and across the nation are free to partner with their Planned Parenthood affiliates.” “I thought our challenge to the Girl Scout entanglement with Planned Parenthood was coming to a close,” added Pisciotta. “The reality is that the challenge has only begun.” “Parents have every right to be troubled by an alliance of the Girl Scouts and an organization like Planned Parenthood,” said Family Research Council Vice President for Communications Genevieve Wood. “They may see themselves as a `health organization,’ but parents know exactly what Planned Parenthood is, and no amount of spin will change that.” Wood added that parents across the country should look into whether or not their local Girl Scouting organizations are supporting Planned Parenthood events as the Bluebonnet Council in Waco had. Less than three weeks after Pisciotta 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, and issued a statement late February. The 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. “Girl Scouts does not provide support to Planned Parenthood, nor do we have any national collaboration or relationship with that organization,” read the statement issued from the group’s board of directors. “We believe issues related to human sexuality and reproductive health are best left to families to discuss with their daughters. “While the Girl Scouts – Bluebonnet Council has sponsored Planned Parenthood’s ‘Nobody’s Fool’ teen and pre-teen education event in the past, we will not be doing so this year, nor will we be sponsoring similar entities such as the Waco 3R Coalition,” the statement concludes. 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 “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. Related Sites: Girl Scouts of the USA –