Fact Check: Girl Scouts Does NOT 'Support' Planned Parenthood Or 'Pro-Abortion Politicians'

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: Girl Scouts Does NOT 'Support' Planned Parenthood Or 'Pro-Abortion Politicians' No Endorsement

Does the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) support Planned Parenthood and praise politicians who support pro-abortion measures? No, that's not true: GSUSA has repeatedly denied any partnership with Planned Parenthood, and there is no evidence that it has endorsed individual politicians.

The claim, which has circulated since at least 2004 after one Texas Girl Scout council was associated with a Planned Parenthood sexual education program, reappeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on January 30, 2014. The post has received more attention online in 2022. It has an image expressing support for a so-called "#CookieCott" to protest by not buying Girl Scout cookies. The caption of the post, which ends with a link to the Pro-Life Action League, reads:

Join the #CookieCott -- Don't buy Girl Scout cookies until they stop supporting Planned Parenthood and praising pro-abortion politicians like Kathleen Sebelius and Wendy Davis!

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on February 16, 2022:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Feb 16 19:56:46 2022 UTC)

According to the GSUSA website, the organization "does not have a relationship or partnership with Planned Parenthood." GSUSA also has not adopted a position on beliefs regarding sexual health:

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) does not take a position or develop materials on these issues. 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.

Parents or guardians make all decisions regarding program participation that may be of a sensitive nature. Consistent with that belief, GSUSA directs councils, including volunteer leaders, to get written parental permission for any locally planned program that could be considered sensitive.

According to its 2021 Blue Book of Basic Policies, GSUSA also does not endorse any political figures:

Girl Scouts of the United States of America and any Girl Scout council or other organization holding a Girl Scouts of the United States of America credential may not, nor may they authorize anyone on their behalf to, participate or intervene directly or indirectly in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office; or participate in any legislative activity or function which contravenes the laws governing tax-exempt organizations.

The connection to GSUSA, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and former Texas Sen. Wendy Davis is based on scant evidence. In 2013, GSUSA tweeted a link to a HuffPost article recognizing several women for their accomplishments that year. One of those women was Davis, who maintained an 11-hour filibuster speech against an anti-abortion bill. According to the organization, that tweet was not published to endorse the women featured on the list. The same year, the GSUSA Facebook page shared a similar Washington Post article that highlighted several women including Sebelius, who has been questioned about her seemingly pro-abortion stance.

Additionally, Girl Scout cookie sales benefit local councils and troops and the proceeds do not go to the national organization.

Lead Stories reached out to GSUSA for clarification regarding the claim. We will update this story with any relevant response.

Updates:

  • 2022-02-17T23:57:06Z 2022-02-17T23:57:06Z
    Updated to revise first sentence for clarity.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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