From Politico Magazine:
Pro-life groups say the Girl Scouts are selling something else along with their Thin Mints: abortion.
By ROBIN MARTY
March 10, 2014
When a cheerful, green-sashed third grader steps on the porch of the house next door, or rings the bell of the neighbor across the street, she’s probably prepping her sales pitch, prepared to answer questions about the type of cookies she’s selling, how much they cost or when they will arrive. She might be ready to tell the person who answers the door about the girls in her troop, the activities they will do with the funds they raise or the volunteer work they have already accomplished during the school year.
One thing she is probably not prepared to discuss is abortion. But that’s what some girls are hearing about from the person on the other side of the door thanks to conservative news outlets, anti-abortion action groups and a continuing campaign to paint the Girl Scouts as in bed with Planned Parenthood.
Launched in 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA started as a single pack of girls in Savannah, Georgia, meeting in the hopes of getting out of their “isolated home environments and into community service and the open air.” Founder Juliette Gordon Low, an artist and athlete, saw her personal mission in launching the troop as “to go on with my heart and soul, devoting all my energies to Girl Scouts, and heart and hand with them, we will make our lives and the lives of the future girls happy, healthy and holy.”
Since that first troop, tens of millions of girls have joined the scouts, forming friendships, earning badges for new skills and, of course, selling the Girl Scout cookies so ubiquitously linked in every person’s mind with the organization. Beginning in 1917, when the first cookies were sold by an Oklahoma troop in a local high school as a service project, troops now sell approximately 200 million boxes per year, resulting in around $700 million in sales.
It’s through these cookie sales that anti-abortion groups are making their voices heard. Dubbing their effort “cookie-cott,” abortion opponents have been urging allies to refuse to purchase cookies from any girl scout this year to show their opposition to what they perceive as the Girl Scouts’ increasing support of people and advocacy groups with ties, however tendentious, to abortion.
The most recent in a long line of perceived offenses, and the one that spurred the latest cookie boycott, was the organization’s alleged endorsement of Texas state senator Wendy Davis, who last June famously filibustered the state’s new law that will close most of the abortion providers in Texas. The Girl Scouts’ Twitter account tweeted a link to a Huffington Post Live segment discussing potential candidates for woman of the year for 2013. Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was mentioned as a contender, as were singer Beyonce, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai and even “the brave women on social media.”
Just one link to one three-minute video with a 30 second mention of Davis was enough constitute an “endorsement,” according to abortion opponents, and justification enough to start the ball rolling for the boycott—or at least for this newest boycott.
In fact, Girl Scout cookie boycotts appear to be a longstanding tradition for the religious right, albeit a mostly Sisyphean one. Just a few months earlier, in October, right-wing Colorado radio pastors Kevin Swanson and Dave Buehner of Generations Radio were urging a boycott of cookies because the Girl Scouts were a “wicked organization” that “doesn’t promote godly womanhood” and in fact “is antithetical to a biblical vision for womanhood,” according to Swanson. In 2012, the Family Research Council, the Christian right advocacy group headed by Tony Perkins, urged its 455,000 followers to pray that cookie sales would lag so that the Girl Scouts would break off their alleged relationship with Planned Parenthood. “The Scouts had better confess their errors and make a clean break while they can,” read the alert, which also urged prayer for the congressional defunding of Planned Parenthood. Even as far back as a decade ago, anti-abortion organizations were boycotting their local troops to punish them for participating in events with Planned Parenthood affiliates. In the case of Waco, Texas, a boycott of cookies in 2004—launched over a partnership with Planned Parenthood for a sex-ed event—continued on even after the troop dropped its co-sponsorship. (Pro-Life Waco’s continuing boycott has now become the staging ground for the current 2014 cookie-cott.)
To read more – click HERE.