Texas Planned Parenthood Conference First Without Girl Scout Backing

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 19, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Texas Planned Parenthood Conference First Without Girl Scout Backing

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
July 19, 2004

Waco, TX (LifeNews.com) — For the fifteenth consecutive year, Planned Parenthood of Central Texas has held its sex-education conference for teens, called "Nobody’s Fool." While some supporters have resolutely continued to support the conference, the local Girl Scout Council will not for the first time in over a decade, following a national campaign highlighting the affiliation.

"I fully believe in parents’ rights, but I don’t want other people deceived by what this (seminar) is about," Pro-Life Waco director John Pisciotta told the Tyler Morning Telegraph. "I would just like to expose it — that’s all."

A reported 350 youth attended the conference — roughly the same as previous years according to organizers. About 40 protesters stood outside the conference, while other protesters picketed local businesses supporting the conference, a donut shop and a car dealer.

Pro-life leaders object to the largest abortion business in Texas and the nation providing sex education to youth, especially since that "education" includes literature saying abortion is an acceptable practice. Additionally, Planned Parenthood does not allow parents to attend.

But pro-life groups will continue to oppose the conference, despite the girl scouts pulling out.

"We are proud to continue our work with Pro-Life Waco to put an end to these atrocities. Pro-Life Waco has been a stalwart guardian of traditional family values in their community," said Jim Sedlak, executive director of STOPP International.

Neither group will rest, adds Sedlak, "until parents and all people of good will across the nation stand together to oppose Planned Parenthood’s continued assault on our families and children."

The Planned Parenthood event sponsorship has caused several scout groups to disaffiliate from the Girl Scout organization.

Troops as far away as Houston, which is outside of the Waco council, have disbanded over the relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Less than three weeks after Pisciotta called for a boycott of the annual Girl Scout cookie sale, the board of directors of the Bluebonnet Council in Waco area council voted to end their partnership with Planned Parenthood of Central Texas.

Meanwhile, Diane Hensley, executive director of McLennan County Collaborative Abstinence Project (McCAP), hopes that the local Girl Scout council and other organizations will aid their youth conference, "Taking Charge, EOL (End of Lecture)," this summer. The conference features two programs for boys and girls, and offers relationship training, information on STDs, self-defense workshops, as well as alcohol and drug abstinence and nutrition and financial responsibility training.

Unlike the Nobody’s Fool conference, parents have been invited and are encouraged to attend McCAP’s program. Also, without the literature approving of abortion or being provided by the leading abortion provider in the state, it would be much more palatable to parents then the alternative.

"Kids need this information," Hensley told LifeNews.com. "But to be too centered on sex sends a message."

Hensley added that teens need to know that if they are abstinent from sex, drugs and alcohol it frees them for other things, such as education and finding their place in this world, experiences they should be seeking in their adolescent years.

A poll in January by Zogby International showed that 96 percent of parents would prefer their children be taught abstinence in sexual education programs.