Girl Scouts admit link to Planned Parenthood
By Allen Palmeri
May 11, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Despite an announcement made in March by the national leader of Girl Scouts USA that many Girl Scout councils across America have relationships with Planned Parenthood, Missouri remains relatively free from these influences, according to a telephone survey of all nine Missouri councils conducted by The Pathway.
Seven councils said they had no relationship with Planned Parenthood, one deferred its response to the national office and one council – the Girl Scouts of Mid-Continent Council, Inc., in Kansas City – admitted it will work with Planned Parenthood from time to time.
“It is very important for Christians in this age of rampant godlessness to be constantly vigilant of the organizations we are involved with,” said Rodney Albert, chairman, Christian Life Commission, Missouri Baptist Convention, and pastor, Hallsville Baptist Church. “No longer can we trust established organizations to remain true to the principles they were founded upon. When cookies and abortion are partnered together, something is grossly wrong.”
Councils in Hannibal, St Louis, Springfield, Jefferson City, Cape Girardeau, St. Joseph and Joplin do not work with Planned Parenthood. A representative of the Sikeston council questioned why The Pathway would even ask such a question before stating that she would prefer that the national office comment on whether the Sikeston Girl Scouts have a relationship with Planned Parenthood. A national spokesman for the Girl Scouts was contacted but did not return a phone call to The Pathway.
Mindy McDermott, director of marketing and public relations for the Kansas City Girl Scouts council, said the organization does not have a permanent and sustained relationship with Planned Parenthood, “but we often rely on community partners when we develop and deliver community programs.” Those community partners, McDermott said, can range from the YMCA to Planned Parenthood.
On March 5, Girls Scouts Chief Executive Officer Kathy Cloninger told NBC News that the organization has relationships with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country to bring information-based sex education programs to girls. Of the 315 councils across the United States, 26 percent have relationships with Planned Parenthood, according to STOPP International. In Missouri, the segment is 11 percent.
The vast majority of Girl Scout councils have not disclosed whether they have a relationship with Planned Parenthood, STOPP reported. The number as of April 12 was 79 percent. Ed Syzmkowiak, national director of STOPP International, is part of a effort that has posted a state-by-state account of whether individual councils are in relationship with Planned Parenthood. That Web site is www.all.org/stopp/scouts.
“In the long run, what we want to do is to spare young girls from the Planned Parenthood agenda,” Syzmkowiak said.
The Girl Scouts used to forbid lesbians from participating, but in 1980, the organization changed its guidelines on homosexuality, according to the American Family Association Journal. By choosing a policy of nondiscrimination, the Girl Scouts said they would welcome lesbians either as scouts or troop leaders.
In a 1986 Sacramento Bee article, Girl Scouts Spokeswoman Deborah Mason said lesbians are accepted in the Girl Scouts because the organization respects the private lives of its staff and volunteers.
In 1992, the Girl Scouts clarified their position by issuing a national policy statement saying the organization respects the values and beliefs of each of its members and does not investigate or intrude into personal matters. Therefore, the statement continued, the Girl Scouts do not have policies that focus on individual sexual preference.
Greg Quinlan of Pro Family Network flatly said that the Girl Scouts cannot be trusted as long as they partner with Planned Parenthood.
“Like any business, Planned Parenthood strives to increase its revenues,” Quinlan said. “The nation’s most prolific provider of abortions thus seeks more pregnant females to serve. Teens and pre-teens obviously are an already fertile field for abortion harvest. To plant a new crop each year, Planned Parenthood merely needs to tell Girl Scouts premarital sex is expected from them.”