The Girl Scouts’ Radical Friends

Sydney Volanski - GS


Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are. 

Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA), offers this pithy saying as her favorite quote. In order to figure out who the Girl Scouts are, I suppose we must follow Ms. Chávez’ logic and look at the organizations that GSUSA associates with.

A good place to start would be the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). WAGGGS has member organizations across the globe, the largest of which is GSUSA, contributing approximately a quarter of the ten million members that belong to WAGGGS. GSUSA is a co-founder of WAGGGS and one of WAGGGS’ largest financial supporters, paying over $1 million each year in membership fees which are triggered by each girl and adult member’s annual GSUSA registration. The global organization is a well-known advocate for sexual and reproductive rights, including abortion, for youth, and claims to speak for all of its 10 million members.

In May 2013, WAGGGS participated in Women Deliver, a global conference with the purpose of “call[ing] for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women.” The conference featured speakers such as late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart, philosopher Peter Singer, who supports infanticide and euthanasia, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Some of the breakout sessions were entitled “Outing and Addressing Abortion Stigma” and “Why I Perform Abortions.” Exhibitors included many abortion and population control advocates such as Amnesty International, Guttmacher Institute, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Marie Stopes International, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, United Nations Population Fund, and WAGGGS.

Equally concerning is WAGGGS’ participation, along with International Planned Parenthood Federation and Planned Parenthood Global (PPFA global), in the Youth Advisory Group for the Women Deliver Conference. It seems to me that the Girl Scouts have some interesting, you might even say radical friends.

Sexual and reproductive rights advocacy is nothing new for WAGGGS. In June 2012, WAGGGS Board Chair Nadine El Achy boasted that WAGGGS “represented each one of our WAGGGS members – YOU” as they pushed for sexual and reproductive rights at the Rio+20 conference. In December 2012, WAGGGS and International Planned Parenthood Federation worked together to create the Bali Youth Declaration, a document which called for abortion rights for youth, comprehensive sex education and the “decriminalization of sex work.” WAGGGS appears to be advocating for the legalization of prostitution. I, for one, fail to see how this relates to scouting.

Putting WAGGGS aside, GSUSA has many other concerning friends. Together with global abortion provider Marie Stopes and other many other abortion advocates, GSUSA maintains membership in The Coalition for Adolescent Girls. The Coalition promotes comprehensive sex education and abortion related care for girls. Additionally, the GSUSA curriculum, the Journey series, used and promoted by every Girl Scout council, was revised for problematic content in 2012. Some corrections were made, but many concerns remain. For example, through Journeys, GSUSA still encourages girls to work with or research many pro-abortion groups such as the ACLUAmnesty InternationalPopulation CouncilSierra ClubWAGGGS and others. Despite this promotion of many pro-abortion groups, I couldn’t find one pro-life organization recommended by GSUSA in their books for girls. It seems that the organization has taken a decided stand on this controversial moral issue. Again, how does this relate to scouting?

I imagine many people will be upset when learn of this association. I know I was. “What?” they’ll say, incredulous at first, “Girl Scouts couldn’t possibly be involved in something like this.” After a while, though, the surprise fades. That’s when reactions start to diverge. I became mad. At only fourteen, I learned of WAGGGS’ advocacy for abortion. I was angry that I had been deceived by an organization I had mistakenly come to trust. My sister became sad. She felt hurt and betrayed when she realized that GSUSA simply is not what it says it is. Instead of remaining neutral on issues like abortion, as they promised, the Girl Scouts fund and hang out with aggressive abortion rights advocates.

Given all of this, who the Girl Scouts have become is clear to me. And unfortunately, they certainly are not the positive influence on girls they once were.


Sydney is a Catholic 17-year old ex-Girl Scout from Texas and co-founder of

(This article originally appeared at LifeNews under the title “Girl Scouts Join Planned Parenthood at Huge Pro-Abortion Conference”) 

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19 thoughts on “The Girl Scouts’ Radical Friends”

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  7. Your post arises out of deep belief and practice of the Catholic faith. The principles of which you write are ones which I believe that you imply should be held by all people.

    The GSUSA is not, nor does it promote itself to be a single faith, Catholic or even Christian organization. It’s national organization takes no position on contraception, abortion, gender…local councils have somewhat more freedom. The main fact is that the GSUSA is not a religious group but encompasses girls and women of all beliefs. It is also affiliated with the World YWCA. Faulting the GSUSA for not believing what you believe is similar to faulting the Rotary, Guiding Star Guild, VFW for not aligning with Catholic belief.

    For Catholic girls and women who find the GSUSA affiliations reprehensible there are options: Impact Girls, Campfire Girls, the Catholic Little Flowers, the Christian American Heritage Girls, Pioneer Girls, etc.

    The GSUSA encompasses a broad breath of humanity and diversity of belief. Membership is an option, as is opting out as you did. Respect those who opt in and their parents….none of us are uninformed decision makers.

    1. CatholicMomForLife

      Phil – the Girl Scouts are free to be themselves. But we should, at the very least, expect GSUSA to be honest with our Catholic clergy and families about what they do and don’t support. The fact is that GSUSA is funding and promoting abortion rights advocates. WAGGGS is representing our Catholic daughters while they advocate for abortion rights and the decriminalization of sex work. If you want to support GS knowing this — that is your choice. But don’t shoot the messenger. The author never claimed GSUSA should believe as she believes but she’s sharing important info, that is relative to Catholics as this organization is represented in many of our parishes.

    2. All they would have to do is keep the stands they had fifty years ago and everything would be fine. They are no longer neutral, they now have taken sides and we Catholics also need to take sides and not support an organization that actively fights against Catholic teaching.

    3. Abortion rights or contraceptive rights flow and are informed from either religion or that the state. “Human rights” are defined by religion or state and sometime are not consonant. SCOTUS, the final arbiter of whether something is constitutional does not define life at conception as such. The site you refer to is predicated on the false conception that abortion is unconstitutional…Roe v Wade says not so. Hence not a human right defined constitutionally, It is a religious issue like contraception,

    4. Uh, no. The right to life (as stated in the Declaration of Independence) is an unalienable right — meaning a right that cannot be granted or taken away from the government because it’s one we possess by virtue of being human. It’s a natural right, not a legal right.

      The right to life is most definitely a human right. Abortion robs a human being of the right to life.

    5. Also, you seem to be under the impression that the Supreme Court is infallible. The Supreme Court once declared that black people only counted as 3/5 of a person (see the Dred Scot decision). That decision was later overturned. Roe v. Wade was a terrible decision, based on the science of 1973 — unclear enough, in the justices’ opinion, that they couldn’t determine if unborn children were human or not. The science of 2013 clearly shows otherwise, so the ruling is outdated and predicated on information we now know to be false.

    6. JoAnna…it is important to be a student of history. First, The Declaration of Independence is not a governing or foundational document. It is a statement of grievances and separation from the King of England. “Right to Life” in the Declaration has a different meaning from what you are imposing on it.

      The Constitution is the fundamental governing document for all US citizens and government. Th role of the fallible SCOTUS is to interpret the constitution as intended by the founding fathers. Roe v Wade was based upon an interpretation of the Constitution as intended by the founding fathers. It may change some day, it may not change…but it is the law of the land. Your beliefs are sacred and should be respect; they however are not the law of the land, nor are they the will of the people and of course we know that government flows from the people…the people decide. We are ruled by the majority but respect the beliefs of the minority….when the majority vote to outlaw abortion and contraception, so be it.

    7. Phil, the founding fathers intended the Constitution to reflect the ideas set forth in the Declaration of Independence. Read the works of John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, et al.

      Obviously I hope you don’t believe that black people constitute only 3/5 of a person, even though that was once settled law as declared by the Supreme Court. Do you think the abolitionists were wrong to fight against “settled law” as it was at that time? Just so, given that Roe v Wade is a bad decision based on outdated science that violates the right to life, I will continue to fight against it — on purely secular grounds — as long as it is the law of the land.

      Truth is not determined by majority vote.

    8. Of course, I agree, truth is not derivative of majority vote…the law of the land is is derived from the people…majority vote.
      Of course, the SCOTUS has ruled wrong or poorly at times and time will prove that the RC has decided wrongly at times. I am not a believer of anyone or any institution’s infallibility. Remember that Thomas Aquinas taught and it was accepted that ensoulment happened between the 7th and 40th day after birth…nobody buys that any more and science can neither prove nor disprove that obvious error.
      And, of course, if you believe Roe v Wade is wrong, regardless of the grounds you should fight it…silence and indifference are very great sins of the modern age.
      Truth is determined in the heart of man (or woman)…we are compelled to live by our beliefs and our truths.

    9. Phil, the Church has a supernatural guarantee of infallibility when it comes to matters of faith and morals, and She has never taught error as doctrine.

      The Supreme Court is not infallible and has, in fact, erred — more than once.

      But again, abortion is a human rights issue, not a religious issue, and it can and should be looked at from that perspective. As clearly demonstrates, abortion violates the right to life of what are clearly innocent human beings, and thus is unconstitutional.

    10. You’re absolutely right, and you know what was astounding to me when I read the decision? The Court in ’73 actually went back to ancient times and ancient sources when discussing when human life begins! It is almost laughable that they bypassed modern science just to eek out the decision that they wanted. Heck, even pro-“choice” legal scholars have admitted that Roe is just shockingly bad law.

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