WASHINGTON – More and more Christian parents are having their daughters bid good-bye to Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Girl Scouts because of the organization’s relationship with Planned Parenthood, the largest player in America’s abortion industry.
Proof of the strong links can be found by looking no further than the statements of Girl Scout CEO Kathy Cloninger, who told NBC’s “Today” show in an interview in 2004: “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.”
There’s additional documentation in printed materials provided by the Girl Scouts, although the statement from Cloninger remains sufficient for many parents. It comes on the heels of WND’s exposure of Girl Scouts’ promotion of lesbian causes.
However, those same parents don’t want their daughters to withdraw from the camaraderie, fellowship and fun found in children’s clubs and children’s groups, and, as a result, a number of alternative organizations have sprouted.
Joan Stromberg is the owner and publisher of the Catholic-focused Little Flowers Girls’ Club materials. She said Little Flowers reinforces the Catholic faith and has a fun, club-like atmosphere.
“Every little girl I know that has been in Little Flowers has loved it. It has been a positive experience,” said Stromberg.
She said some Catholic parishes have banned Girls Scouts altogether because of the Planned Parenthood connection, leaving some families to look for a Catholic alternative. Abortion is condemned by the Catholic Church.
Pope John Paul II stated in 1995 that the church’s stance on abortion “is unchanged and unchangeable … direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.”
The Little Flowers Girls’ Club gains 2,000 new members each year, and while the club in its infancy catered to homeschool circles, it now has broadened in scope significantly.
“Girls learn the Catholic faith with Catholic friends in an environment that is supportive of what they are learning at home,” said Stromberg.
Two other brave former Girls Scouts have stood up for their pro-life beliefs in a unique way – by starting a blog with the help of their mother called Speak Now Girl Scouts.
Sydney and Tess Volanski parted ways with the Girls Scouts after eight years of dedicated involvement because their ideals of “dignity of life, sanctity of marriage, modesty, and purity” directly conflicted with those of the organization.
Christy Volanski said it was difficult to watch her daughters go through the painful experience of cutting ties with the Girls Scouts after learning of the organization’s pro-abortion ties. Christy had served as a co-leader for the Girls Scouts in the final years of her daughters’ involvement, and the girls had planned to continue in the Girl Scouts through their senior year of high school.
“I felt misled, betrayed, offended, and hurt. A lot of my anger was from finding that my girls were deceived and the pain and anguish that they went through,” said Christy Volanski.
President of the Judeo-Christian based American Heritage Girls, Patti Garibay, said many of the girls that join AHG have left the Girl Scouts. Garibay, herself, left the Girl Scouts. Her long history with the Scouts included being a leader for 13 years to her daughters, as well as her own mother being a leader when she was a girl.
However, in 1993 she saw the Girl Scouts alter their “promise,” making the oath to God optional and putting an asterisk in the place of God’s name.
Although Garibay did try to make changes on the local and national level regarding the decision, she was not successful. She started looking for something new for her daughters. Something new became the American Heritage Girls, an organization dedicated to “building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.”
American Heritage Girls now has over 13,000 members in 41 states.
It is a nondenominational female scout program for ages 5-18 that focuses on building integrity in women while being firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian values. AHG puts an emphasis on “service to God, family, community, and country.”
“I believe scouting is a character development program and needs to have a basis that does not change over time despite changing culture. Biblical values are timeless, what is the truth, what is right, that does not change with culture or whoever is popular or in power,” said Garibay.
Concerned Women for America is a women’s public policy organization that applies biblical principles to public policy in areas of “the family, the sanctity of human life, religious liberty, education, pornography and national sovereignty.”
CWA President Wendy Wright has documented the relationship between Girls Scouts and Planned Parenthood.
“These groups work together to steal children’s innocence and make them vulnerable to the negative consequences of promiscuity thereby creating clients for their abortion and STD services,” said Wright.
One link between Girl Scouts USA and pro-abortion causes that can be easily verified is the connection to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, or WAGGGS. Each Girl Scout is automatically a member of WAGGGS due to shared funding and activities. The WAGGGS website shows support for a campaign involving “sexual and reproductive health services” such as “emergency contraception in order to avoid unintended pregnancies and accessible, affordable and safe abortions.”
“We encourage people to look into the kinds of material that Planned Parenthood distributes to young people because the Girls Scouts would be one distribution method of getting the materials into teenagers’ hands,” said Wright on the Girls Scouts organization’s accessibility to young people.
Abby Johnson, the former Planned Parenthood clinic director who became a pro-life advocate, has also acknowledged the Planned Parenthood Girl Scouts relationship in her blog. In May she wrote about handling a Planned Parenthood brochure as a Planned Parenthood employee and seeing the Girl Scouts of the USA logo on the back.
The brochure was titled “How to Know You are Ready for Sex.”
“No one loves Thin Mints more than me. But there are no more cookies in this house. My daughter will not be a part of GSUSA. I will not support any curriculum that supports GSUSA,” she wrote.
Another organization that details links between Girl Scouts at the abortion industry is Girl Scouts Why Not.
Yet another organization is Pioneer Girls, a club for girls that includes biblical teaching, relationship building and life skills development. Pioneer Clubs emphasize giving “children a place to belong and to experience God’s love through caring adult leaders.”
Still another is GEMS Girls’ Clubs, which stands for Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior. It is non-denominational and shows young girls how to apply biblical truths to their lives.
Another is Keepers at Home.