Anti-Choice Groups Target Dangerous Culprits — Girl Scouts!


Picket-sign-wielding radical feminist

When you think of the Girl Scouts, you probably picture training-bra-burning, wire-hanger-wielding radical feminists with a serious political axe to grind, right? You don’t? Well, according to some anti-choice groups, the Girl Scouts of the USA are sort of junior league feminazis, as imagined in a Rush Limbaugh fever dream.

The rest of us think of Girls Scouts as an organization that teaches leadership and life skills to girls—and sells delicious, delicious cookies. But don’t be fooled by the tasty snacks, says Pro-Life Waco (yes, you can’t make up that name): The Texas-based group recently launched a boycott of young Scouts after the group’s official Twitter account shared a link to a Huffington Post article that included Wendy Davis on a list of 2013’s most notable women. CookieCott 2014, as the boycott has been termed, asks fellow anti-choicers to say no to Girl Scout cookies because the Scouts’ “national leadership continues to show its attachment to pro-abortion leaders and organizations.”

Said Kelly Parisi, chief communications executive at Girl Scouts of the USA, to The Daily Beast,

It’s deeply unfortunate that fringe groups are attaching their political agenda to our brand. It’s really upsetting that we’re a girl-serving organization and people are using our brand to have very adult conversations … And that has no place in our organization and isn’t about building leadership skills for girls.

According to its website, Girl Scouts of the USA

does not take a position or develop materials on [human sexuality, birth control, and abortion]. We feel our role is to help girls develop self-confidence and good decision-making skills that will help them make wise choices in all areas of their lives.

Girl Scouts’ CEO Anna Maria Chávez reiterated the organization’s position in a recent YouTube video, saying, “Girl Scouts of the USA believes that reproductive issues are deeply private matters best left to families.”

This is not the first time Pro-Life Waco has boycotted Girl Scout cookies. In 2004, the anti-choice group launched a similar campaign after a Waco-area Scout chapter supported sex-education programs sponsored by Planned Parenthood. Because the boycott was hyper-local and received attention from area news outlets, Pro-Life Waco was, unfortunately, successful in its efforts—and the Girl Scouts ultimately ended their relationship with Planned Parenthood Waco. The current CookieCott isn’t likely to have the same impact, though, as it lacks a specific focus and targets the large, national Girl Scouts organization. But those factors make it no less frustrating or unnecessary.

As I sit here munching on Thin Mints, I want to commend the Girl Scouts for maintaining such poise and professionalism while facing such a ridiculous attack. I’d also like to note that while Girl Scouts of the USA might not put forth a pro-choice policy, they do take progressive stands on other controversial social issues, particularly the question of trans youth within the organization. From the Scouts’ website:

If the [transgender] child is recognized by the family and school/community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, then Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.

To support the great work the Girl Scouts do, I suggest you get yourself to a supermarket (or a nearby legal marijuana dispensary) before cookie season is over.

Photo from Flickr user Sheila Herman under license from Creative Commons 2.0




Stephanie Hallett is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. She can be found on Twitter @stephhallett.



  1. I’m a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts. When this dispute originally came to light, I ran right out and ordered 12 boxes of cookies.

    Good article.

    • I’m a lifetime Girl Scout. I was a leader for several years. I knew there was something wrong going on when my daughter’s leader, coming home from a trip from Louisiana, asked she asked the girls in the van whether they wanted a class on contraceptives. They were so young! The weren’t interested. Yet the leader kept pushing the issue…..So I’m not surprised that the GS is involved with Planned Parenthood.

  2. cecelia Horn Hytten says:

    I am enjoying my thin mints and my husband is enjoying his

    Don’t let the fringe nuts trouble you!

  3. Everyone should order a box and send it to Pro-Life Waco headquarters. Bury them in Girl Scout cookies. I think that would be hilarious.

  4. Everyone buy a box of Girl Scout cookies and send them to:

    Pro-Life Waco
    4200 Grim Ave.,
    Waco, TX 76710

    Tell them we are going to boycott their boycott.

  5. I was in Girl Scouts for 9 years starting in 4th grade all the way till I was a senior in high school and I am now a life time member. It makes me sad that such an amazing organization that has done nothing but give back to the community by empowering girls is under such attack. It makes me even more sad that this act is happening in my home state. I promise yall that not all Texans are closed minded, and we support string women and their choice to voice what they believe!

  6. It actually would be hilarious to bury Pro-Life Waco in Girl Scouts cookies, but why waste all those good cookies?

  7. Rebecca Carey says:

    Why not buy Girl Scout cookies and donate them to a Waco food pantry in Pro-Life Waco’s name. Win-win!

  8. I suggest just sending empty boxes 😉

  9. I already loved girl scout cookies. Now I’m almost crying tears of joy. Im happy they are standing by their beliefs don’t let those pro-choicers bully you girl scouts! you sell those thin mints!

  10. Dang; if I’d known about this, I would have given in to the temptation to buy four boxes of Thin Mints instead of confining myself to just two. Then I would have sent all four empty boxes to the Waco address Robin provided above. Oh well. I still made my annual contribution to Girl Scouts, so I can be happy about that. 🙂

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