Does Girl Scouts have a relationship with Planned Parenthood?
No. Girl Scouts of the USA—which includes Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council—does not have a relationship or collaboration with Planned Parenthood, nor provide any financial support to them.
We believe that health and sexuality are private matters for girls and their families. Girl Scouts of the USA and all Girl Scout Councils are nonpartisan, nonpolitical organizations that do not take a position on reproductive rights or any other political issue.
Why is there a video of Kathy Cloninger mentioning Planned Parenthood in 2004?
The clip is from a 15-year-old interview with now-retired GSUSA CEO Kathy Cloninger. Cloninger was relatively new to Girl Scouts and the resulting media relations at the time. She simply misspoke and represented the organizations’ ‘partnerships’ incorrectly. We believe she was attempting to clarify a decision of the local Council in Waco, TX (which is no longer in existence), in response to allegations the group Pro-Life Waco was asserting at the time. The last part of Cloninger’s answer has lived on as “evidence” for critics but has long been debunked by trusted, third-party, fact-checking sources, including:
Did an Arizona Girl Scout earn her Gold Award for pro-choice activism in 2018?
No. Several false and misleading stories related to an Arizona girl’s Girl Scout Gold Award project about women’s health have been picked up and disseminated by various websites.
The Girl Scout Gold Award project mentioned in these stories is still in the planning stages (March 2019, at the time of the false reports) and focuses on health access and education in partnership with El Rio Health, a federally-funded non-profit health center, and the YWCA in Tucson. The capstone of her Gold Award project is a community health fair, where attendees will learn about topics within women’s health: the HPV vaccine, how to seek help in response to intimate partner violence, and the basics of keeping their bodies healthy, from pap smears to self-breast examinations. Her health fair will not cover abortion in any way, and it was never her intention to broach the subject.
Through our Highest Awards, including the Girl Scout Gold Award, girls are empowered to identify an issue in their community about which they are passionate—in this case, access to healthcare—and take action to create a sustainable solution to that challenge. Girl Scouts does not take a position on or develop materials about human sexuality or reproductive health; we believe girls best discuss these matters with their parents or guardians. Rather, Girl Scouts remains focused on bringing girls the single best leadership development programming in the world and preparing girls to find their voices and tap into their incredible leadership potential on their way to becoming tomorrow’s leaders.
What is Girl Scouts’ position on sexual orientation about joining or volunteering for Girl Scouts?
Girl Scouts believes sexual orientation is a private matter for girls and their families to address. As an organization, Girl Scouts upholds diversity and inclusiveness and does not discriminate or recruit on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, or physical or developmental disability.
What is Girl Scouts’ stance on human sexuality, birth control, and abortion?
The Girl Scout organization does not take a position or develop materials on these issues. We believe girls and their families best decide these matters and we have guidelines in place for those who wish to broach these topics at the troop level. 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.
Does Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) allow transgender children to join Girl Scouts?
Girl Scouts values diversity and is an inclusive organization welcoming K-12 girls of all religions, nationalities, and backgrounds. Girl Scouts does not discriminate or recruit on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, or physical or developmental disability.
Our Council is committed to providing an emotionally and physically safe environment for girls. When contacted by a parent/guardian of a transgender child, our staff will work with the family to ensure the welfare and best interests of the child are a top priority.
Does Girl Scouts support families of faith?
Yes. Girl Scouts supports girls from all backgrounds and beliefs. While Girl Scouts is a secular organization that refrains from teaching religious or spiritual beliefs or practices, we greatly value our longstanding partnership with religious organizations across many faiths that share the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law.
We encourage girls to develop connections to their own spiritual and religious beliefs by earning recognitions provided by their faith communities and by earning the My Promise, My Faith pin, which helps a girl deepen the connection between the Girl Scout Law and her faith. We support the right of faith leaders to verify that program delivered to girls in their places of worship be consistent with their faith’s teachings.