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A local Girls Scout council in Waco, Texas, has decided not to cosponsor two sex-education programs with Planned Parenthood after a local professor protested the affiliation by starting a boycott of the youth group’s famous cookies.
The Bluebonnet Council of Girl Scouts made the decision to pull out of the events sponsored by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, after the youth group began receiving complaints from around the nation.
Though the council’s board voted to end the sponsorship, its executive director said the action was not meant to be interpreted as a stance against abortion, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.
“Our policies basically state that we do not take a position on issues like abortion,” Director Beth Vivio told the paper. “We feel these are private matters that need to be discussed or determined by each family.”
Vivio said some members took issue with the Girl Scouts logo being a part of brochures for two sex-education programs, including one directed at pre-teens called “Nobody’s Fool.”
While John Pisciotta, the Baylor professor who called for the boycott, applauds the recent action, he hopes the council will divorce itself entirely from Planned Parenthood, the Waco paper reported.
“I hope they will do this and this whole thing can end,” he said.
Rather than the cookie boycott, Pisciotta credits national media coverage for turning the tide with the council.
“The pressure came when local, Web and national news outlets picked up the story,” he said in a statement.
“Faced with a crisis of public relations that was growing each day, the council initiated the divorce. Indeed, the resolution adopted appears to come from national headquarters.”
Pisciotta, who is part of the organization Pro-Life Waco, quoted one girl scout telling Vivio: “Your link to [Planned Parenthood] is forcing us to choose between our religious faith and Girl Scouts.”
The executive director of Planned Parenthood of Central Texas says she was shocked by the council’s decision.
“I’m sick to think that an organization as illustrious as the Girl Scouts would make a decision based on one person’s political agenda,” Pam Smallwood told the Tribune-Herald. “The children of Central Texas now have been given the clear message that the bullying tactics of a few are more successful than an informed democracy.”
The report states Donna Coody, a former Girl Scout troop leader in Crawford, is starting her own girls organization after breaking with the council over the issue. While the recent decision won’t cause her to go back to the organization, she says it’s ” fantastic” the council, which represents 6,000 girls, heard the complaints and took action.