An effort by Pro-Life Wisconsin to get anti-abortion supporters to boycott Girl Scout cookies is part of a national campaign by anti-abortion groups called "Cookiecott 2014."

In an email to supporters Monday, Pro-Life Wisconsin said that "while some local troops' activities may be wholesome, sadly, Girl Scouts USA promotes radically anti-life women, such as Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, as role models, regularly partners with pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood for 'educational' activities, and encourages girls to fight for abortion on demand."

The annual six-week period of Girl Scout cookie sales kicks off this Saturday.

The website cookiecott.com says the effort is being undertaken because of the Girl Scout organization's "deep and lasting entanglement with abortion providers and abortion rights organizations," as well as the organization's "praise for (Texas legislator) Wendy Davis and (U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary) Kathleen Sebelius."

The latter apparently refers to a Girl Scouts of the USA tweet that linked to a recent panel discussion on the website HuffPo Live of influential women of 2013. Davis was among the women mentioned. Sebelius was mentioned as an influential woman in another discussion linked to by the Girl Scouts organization. Both women favor abortion rights.

The Girl Scouts organization later clarified it was not endorsing any particular woman or cause, just applauding the work of many accomplished women.

Tuesday, national Girl Scouts spokeswoman Kelly Parisi told the Associated Press the posts were meant to encourage people to get involved in discussions about the top newsmakers of 2013, which many people were referring to as the year of women.

"We think it is appropriate for us to encourage conversation about what makes a female leader," Parisi said.

A statement on the Girl Scouts website says the organization "does not have a relationship or partnership with Planned Parenthood." Christy Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the Badgerland Council, a regional body that provides Girl Scouting in south-central and southwest Wisconsin, said the council "has no programming related to Planned Parenthood."

Sam Guzman, communications director for Pro-Life Wisconsin, said he was not aware of any Wisconsin Girl Scout troops collaborating with Planned Parenthood, but he directed a reporter to honestgirlscouts.com, a site where Girl Scouts and troop leaders from across the country can post alleged examples of such.

No examples are given for Wisconsin. In other states, individual Girl Scout troops are criticized for such things as exposing members to Planned Parenthood's sex-education curriculum.

The national Girl Scouts organization said in a statement it "does not advocate one way or another with regard to what we perceive as private issues best handled by families. Personal matters are just that — personal and private — and should be addressed accordingly."

In its Monday message, Pro-Life Wisconsin told its supporters that "approximately 15 percent of each box sold goes to the troop. The rest goes to the regional and national organizations of Girl Scouts USA."

That's not true, Gibbs said. No portion of cookie proceeds goes to the national Girl Scouts organization, she said.

Of the $3.75 per-box retail price, the baker gets 99 cents, the girl who sold the box earns a 12-cent reward, and the troop keeps 60 cents to 70 cents depending on total sales volume. The rest — about $2 — goes to the regional council to pay for programming costs, Gibbs said.

While the organization's 112 regional councils do provide funding for the national Girl Scouts of the USA, that money comes from a portion of registration fees, Gibbs said. The cookie money is a distinct pot, she said.

Told of this, Peggy Hamill, Pro-Life Wisconsin's state director, said "our concerns still stand."

"Money is fungible," she said. "Regardless of whether it's actually the cookie money supporting the national Girl Scouts, we know that money goes from the regional councils to the national organization."

Guzman said other pro-life groups have reported that the national Girl Scouts organization still benefits from cookie sales because it receives licensing fees for all of the boxes sold. He did not know the details, and Gibbs said she could not speak to the issue.

Pro-Life Wisconsin does not have dues-paying members but maintains a mailing list of 28,000 contacts, Guzman said. Monday's item about the Girl Scout cookies was sent to about 3,600 people who have asked for weekly email updates from the organization, he said.

Education and religion reporter

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(24) comments

Polkadot
Polkadot

Thanks array1- that's the point these regressive groups never want to address. Also, if Pro Life WI would please publish its mailing list, we can solicit the members for contributions and adoptions.

WeNeedaDream
WeNeedaDream

Given the huge impact of this pro-life vs. pro-choice fight on people, politics, and polarizations...
I wonder if We The People of America's Laboratory of Democracy (WI) can reach for higher (win/win) ways to work with such issues and conflicts... cnvc.org, evolve.org, theshiftnetwork.com, weneedadream.org, heartmath.org?

WeNeedaDream
WeNeedaDream

Another promising process (from a UW grad) that has transformed seemingly impossible conflicts: donnahicks.com

MagnusP
MagnusP

I like the mint chocolate cookies.

mzd
mzd

Here's the donate site for the BadgerLand council. Consider making a donation!

http://gsbadgerland.org/Donate/tabid/888/Default.aspx

array1
array1

The weird thing is, these people also oppose strategies that have been shown to reduce teen pregnancy and abortion such as information about and access to birth control. How backwards is that?

woodysguitar
woodysguitar

Hmmm, is it possible that these radical groups have an agenda that has nothing to do with pregnancy and abortion?

sbjohnston
sbjohnston

I would think that this group would be embarrassed that they have to ride on the promotional coattails of the Girl Scouts! Apparently they have to trick media outlets into coverage of such non-news - their own agenda doesn't merit coverage unless they try to hijack a legitimate organization's PR effort.

I would also think a real news editor would be wise to these kind of tricks and not provide coverage to such nonsense.

gobi
gobi

Girl Scout cookies lead to unprotected sex and abortions - everyone knows this:) Seriously, Pro-Life Wisconsin would have a lot more sympathizers if the only opposed abortion. But, they also oppose all forms of birth-control. Sorry Pro-Life Wisconsin- you have now shown all of Wisconsin what a radically out-of-touch group you really are.

Lynn4300XL
Lynn4300XL

I heard the Girl Scouts believe in evolution too. I won't buy cookies from a group that believes in wrong theories.

bdholmes
bdholmes

Righties really know how to pick their battles and its usually a PR nightmare because they put their morals, religious, and political beliefs ahead of common sense...evolve cave people.

WC
WC

I agree that this may not be the best PR move by a right to life group, but the thing that is really sad about this article and the one before it, is that they are considered top stories by this newspaper. Come on give us some real news.

geo_
geo_

How un-America ca you get! PLW should be defending a womens constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion.

have some sense
have some sense

I will buy as many boxes as I can.

Ginrummy, the whole shelter and put bull example is not the best.

Lexus Peterson
Lexus Peterson

Okay I'm buying more cookies this year. Why do prolife groups need to just make stuff up? I wonder if they know $67 of every Buick sold in America goes directly to Satan. Seriously. Last week when I was in heaven God told me that. It's true.

elsewhere
elsewhere

I would think Pro-Life WI would be supporting the Girl Scout as an organization that teaches girls to be independent, set goals and to be more than someone's arm candy. Oh, wait a minute. Independent, self sufficient young girls who think; that's the LAST thin Pro-Life WI wants!!!!

eagledeer
eagledeer

Pro Life needs to get a "life".

Gwinki
Gwinki

I'm buying Girl Scout cookies.
Cookies don't have negative agendas.
Neither do little girls.

Gwinki
Gwinki

I'm buying Girl Scout cookies.
Cookies don't have negative agendas.
Neither do little girls.

paulwesterberg
paulwesterberg

Way to use kids as pawns in your stupid political game.

G Gordon
G Gordon

Talk about jumping the shark. Wow, Pro-Life Wisconsin. Boycotting Girl Scout cookies? Creepy and bizarre.

I'm looking forward to the Thin Mints and the Caramel DeLites. Guess I'll order a couple extra boxes this year.

davea
davea

We all should buy extras, then gift wrap them and send to "Pro-Life"!

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

"Money is fungible."

How profound. Some deep thinking going on, but not by WPL.

I can't imagine a worse PR move. We'll see record sales, and another several hundred thousand women across the country who won't vote Republican in the future.

Farmdog
Farmdog

Maybe this is payback for what the conservatives view as an unwarranted attack on the Boy Scouts. IMO we should not allow either organization to become a political pawn.

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