TCU Daily Skiff Thursday, March 11, 2004
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Girl Scout chapter endorsing abortion

Eugene Chu is a senior political science major from Arlington.

A group of pro-life Texans in Waco known as Pro-Life Waco has recently called for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies. At first, the idea of boycotting a product associated with wholesomeness seems ridiculous. It turns out, however, that the local Waco chapter of the Girl Scouts has established a relationship with Planned Parenthood. Though this matter is debatable, I sympathize with the Pro-Life Waco and its efforts. Before one merely assumes that this is an immature act over trivial association, one should be aware of several important facts.

Though it’s true that the national Girl Scouts organization does not have official ties with Planned Parenthood, the Girl Scouts chapter in Waco gave a ‘Woman of Distinction’ award to a Planned Parenthood executive last year. When an organization gives an award to a person, it typically means it approves the work that he or she does. By choosing to publicly give out an award, the chapter went beyond association and into endorsement of Planned Parenthood. In addition to the Girl Scouts endorsing what is basically a pro-choice group, a sex-education scandal also ensued.

About 400-700 fifth to ninth grade students attend an annual Planned Parenthood conference in Waco that is sponsored by the local Girl Scouts chapter. While Planned Parenthood insists that abortion is not included, sex-education has been taught at these conferences. According to The Associated Press, booklets containing illustrations of couples engaging in sex and boys putting on condoms were distributed. Along with illustrations, the booklets also contained chapters on sex education topics such as homosexuality and masturbation.

Pam Smallwood, the Planned Parenthood honoree, referred to the boycott as “… bullying tactics,” but the concept of the boycott is actually quite dignified.

Sadly, I acknowledge that radical protestation and even violence have come from the debate over abortion and sex education. In this instance though, no person is physically being harmed and no one is being forced to not buy Girl Scout cookies. Boycotts are peaceful actions that have been implemented in the past to deal with controversial social issues. Though Smallwood might refer to the boycott has bullying, Pro-Life Waco leader and Baylor economics professor John Pisciotta referred to it as “a way to bring attention to the issue and wasn’t really about cookies.”

The Girl Scouts are an independent organization, and they represent a public image. When one chapter decides to work with Planned Parenthood or to sponsor an explicit sex education program, those actions negatively reflect on the Girl Scouts’ image as a whole. People should remember the boycott against their cookies is a peaceful protest. It is simply a message from Pro-Life Waco to the Waco Girl Scout chapter: Some people consider your relationship with Planned Parenthood to be offensive.
 
 
 
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