(NEW YORK – C-FAM) The scandal surrounding the Girl Scout’s distribution of an International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) sex guide at the UN Beijing +15 Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) continues to grow. Some Scout mothers in St. Louis intend to ask the St. Louis Girl Scouts to pull out of the national organization.
The Girl Scouts continue to deny they had any involvement in the distribution of the brochure and have offered various responses at different times. They claim they did not “hand out” the brochure, though they were never charged with handing it out. They claim they did not look in the trash or otherwise “sanitize the room” before they used it and say another group could have left it. And they have said the brochure was simply not in the room.
As to their claim that the brochure might have been left in the room by a previous organizational user, the Friday Fax looked into the question of who used the room prior to the Girl Scouts at 4:00 pm on March 1. The National Association of Colored People (NAACP) used the room at 10 am for a meeting on climate change. The UN used the room at noon for an orientation meeting on the Commission on the Status of Women, which was starting that day. At 2:00 pm a European poverty group held a panel on counterterrorism.
One of the consistent responses from Girl Scout leaders is that the Girl Scouts have no connection to Planned Parenthood. This, however, was not the first time the Girl Scouts have teamed up with Planned Parenthood to hand out sex guides. For 14 years, the Girl Scouts co-sponsored a conference in Waco, Texas with Planned Parenthood on sex education. At the 2004 Waco conference, a sex book titled “It’s Perfectly Normal” was handed out to 700 grade-school girls. That guide celebrates masturbation and explicit drawings of couples having sex and a boy putting on a condom, as well as listing the top nine reasons to have an abortion. The subsequent brouhaha started a cookie boycott and was covered by the national media.
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) CEO Kathy Cloninger admitted subsequently on NBC’s Today Show that, “… 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.”
GSUSA is one of 145 member organizations of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). Going back at least to 1990, IPPF and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) partnered with WAGGGS and World Young Women's Christian Association (World YWCA) to promote family planning and “adolescent reproductive health.” The WAGGGS website from the just concluded UN Commission on the Status of Women has a page in which young people “demand their sexual and reproductive rights,” including “access to comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services, including contraception and emergency contraception, in order to avoid unintended pregnancies” and also demand that “accessible, affordable and safe abortions should be made part of the minimum packages of sexual and reproductive health services.”
Additionally, the Friday Fax has learned that at least one regional director of the Girl Scouts comes from the ranks of Planned Parenthood personnel. In 2004, the Great Plains Council of Girl Scouts, representing 11,000 girls, hired Beverly Todd Nolte as their CEO. Previously, Nolte had held marketing and lobbying positions with Planned Parenthood of Nebraska and Council Bluffs.
[Correction: Last week’s Friday Fax identified the co-moderator of the young women’s youth caucus as the “YMCA,” instead of the “YWCA.”]