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Churches Leading An Exit From Girl Scouts Over Its Ties To Planned Parenthood

By  Hank Berrien

Churches and families are accelerating their exit from the Girl Scouts because of the organization’s ties to the abortion mill Planned Parenthood.

The latest group to aver that they are finished with the Girl Scouts is the Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas. On May 1, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Diocese of Kansas City today issued a statement which read:

After several consultations with the Presbyteral Council and with the recommendation of our Office for Youth Ministry, I have asked the pastors of the Archdiocese to begin the process of transitioning away from the hosting of parish Girl Scout troops and toward the chartering of American Heritage Girls troops. …

Eventually it came down to this. Our greatest responsibility as a church is to the children and young people in our care. We have a limited time and number of opportunities to impact the formation of our young people. It is essential that all youth programs at our parishes affirm virtues and values consistent with our Catholic faith.

To follow Jesus and his Gospel will often require us to be counter-cultural. With the promotion by Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) of programs and materials reflective of many of the troubling trends in our secular culture, they are no longer a compatible partner in helping us form young women with the virtues and values of the Gospel.

The national organization, for example, contributes more than a million dollars each year to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS), an organization tied to International Planned Parenthood and its advocacy for legislation that includes both contraception and abortion as preventive health care for women.

Margaret Sanger, Betsy Friedan and Gloria Steinem are frequently held up in materials as role models for young Scouts. These as well as many other “role models” in the GSUSA’s new manuals and web content not only do not reflect our Catholic worldview but stand in stark opposition to what we believe.

The archdiocese’s decision follows others made in recent years as the Girl Scouts’ numbers and funding have declined. A 2015 report in the Dallas News asserted, “According to figures provided to The Associated Press, youth membership for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 [2015] was 1.88 million, down nearly 6.2 percent from 2014, and adult membership was 784,120, down 3.1 percent. The total membership — now 2.66 million — is down more than 15 percent over three years, and down 30 percent from a peak of more than 3.8 million in 2003.”

As Life News reports, the opposition to the Girl Scouts’ ties to Planned Parenthood date back more than a decade; in 2004, Kathy Cloninger, CEO of the Girl Scouts of America, appeared on NBC’s “Today” show and stated, “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.” Cloninger added, “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.” One month later, of the 315 Girl Scout councils in the U.S., 17 councils reported having a relationship with Planned Parenthood and its affiliates.

Bishop Gregory Aymond of the Diocese of Austin, Texas, wrote, “Scouting troops associated with the diocesan entities will not support, encourage or in any way endorse the activities and programs of Planned Parenthood or any other organization espousing similar beliefs and practices. Any scouting unit or troop not embracing the above directives shall not be permitted use of parish or school facilities … or indicate association with the Catholic Diocese of Austin. Whether or not we will be able to continue our association with Girl Scouts of America is still questionable.”

In 2010-2011, Girls Scouts in New York partnered with Planned Parenthood to promote a sex-ed program, “Real Life. Real Talk.” In 2012, the national Catholic bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth investigated the Girl Scouts’ “possible problematic relationships with other organizations” and “problematic” materials.

Life News notes:

In 2013, Girl Scouts USA shared a recommendation for abortion activist and former pro-abortion Texas legislator Wendy Davis as a 2013 Woman of the Year on their official Twitter account. The organization also suggested pro-abortion former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a woman “with courage, confidence, and character.” Meanwhile, a national spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts, Kelly Parisi, is the former spokeswoman for a pro-abortion organization founded by Gloria Steinem. The Girl Scouts also have been criticized for their involvement in the May 2013 Women Deliver Conference, an international event that included “safe and legal abortion” among its overarching themes. It documents its role in the planning and facilitating of the December 2012 Bali Global Youth Forum and the outcome declaration, which demands youth access to abortion.

In 2016, St. Louis Catholic Archbishop Robert J. Carlson wrote, “Organizations that [Girl Scouts USA] promotes and partners with are in conflict with Catholic values, such as Amnesty International, Coalition for Adolescent Girls, OxFam and more. This is especially troubling in regards to sex education and advocacy for ‘reproductive rights’ (i.e. abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors).”

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