31 May 2013
by Sydney Volanski
Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are.
Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA), offers this pithy saying as her favorite quote. In order to figure out who the Girl Scouts are, I suppose we must follow Ms. Chávez’ logic and look at the organizations that GSUSA associates with.
A good place to start would be the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). WAGGGS has member organizations across the globe, the largest of which is GSUSA, contributing approximately a quarter of the ten million members that belong to WAGGGS. GSUSA is a co-founder of WAGGGS and one of WAGGGS’ largest financial supporters, paying over $1 million each year in membership fees which are triggered by each girl and adult member’s annual GSUSA registration.
The global organization is a well-known advocate for sexual and reproductive rights, including abortion, for youth, and claims to speak for all of its 10 million members.
The conference featured speakers such as late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart, philosopher Peter Singer, who supports infanticide and euthanasia, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Some of the breakout sessions were entitled “Outing and Addressing Abortion Stigma” and “Why I Perform Abortions.” Exhibitors included many abortion and population control advocates such as Amnesty International, Guttmacher Institute, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, United Nations Population Fund, and WAGGGS.
Equally concerning is WAGGGS’ participation, along with International Planned Parenthood Federation and Planned Parenthood Global (PPFA global), in the Youth Advisory Group for the Women Deliver Conference. It seems to me that the Girl Scouts have some interesting, you might even say radical friends.
Sexual and reproductive rights advocacy is nothing new for WAGGGS. In June 2012, WAGGGS Board Chair Nadine El Achy boasted that WAGGGS “represented each one of our WAGGGS members – YOU” as they pushed for sexual and reproductive rights at the Rio+20 conference. In December 2012, WAGGGS and International Planned Parenthood Federation worked together to create the Bali Youth Declaration, a document which called for abortion rights for youth, comprehensive sex education and the “decriminalization of sex work.” WAGGGS appears to be advocating for the legalization of prostitution. I, for one, fail to see how this relates to scouting.
Putting WAGGGS aside, GSUSA has many other concerning friends. Together with global abortion provider Marie Stopes and other many other abortion advocates, GSUSA maintains membership in The Coalition for Adolescent Girls.
The Coalition promotes comprehensive sex education and abortion related care for girls. Additionally, the GSUSA curriculum, the Journey series, used and promoted by every Girl Scout council, was revised for problematic content in 2012. Some corrections were made, but many concerns remain. For example, through Journeys, GSUSA still encourages girls to work with or research many pro-abortion groups such as the ACLU, Amnesty International, Population Council, Sierra Club, WAGGGS and others. Despite this promotion of many pro-abortion groups, I couldn’t find one pro-life organization recommended by GSUSA in their books for girls. It seems that the organization has taken a decided stand on this controversial moral issue. Again, how does this relate to scouting?
I imagine many people will be upset when learn of this association. I know I was. “What?” they’ll say, incredulous at first, “Girl Scouts couldn’t possibly be involved in something like this.”