Mar 042004
Authors: Marika Krause

“Behind every choice is a story.”

Planned Parenthood proudly displays this quote on their Web

site. It’s an interesting thought and relevant to most situations.

I’m sure the Girl Scouts of America find this quote very relevant

to a situation in Texas that dissolved one troop altogether and

left Troop 7527 with two members.

Even Girl Scouts and their cookies are not exempt from political


You see, the choices made in the stories of several people made

this the current situation. One was of the Planned Parenthood

Executive who was honored by the scouts as a “Woman of


The leader of a religious group who called for a boycott of Girl

Scout cookies because of the “cozy relationship” between Planned

Parenthood and Girl Scouts is another.

But probably the most important story that led to the boycott

came from the parents who made the choice pulled their girls from

the troops.

“It’s not that we’re a bunch of activists. We’re just a bunch of

moms who care about our kids,” Lisa Aguilar told the Associated

Press after removing her 10-year-old from the troop.

I think it’s ironic she seems to have a problem with activism.

Participating in a boycott is not exactly pacifism. Aguilar has

every right to disagree with the organization as she pleases. I’m

glad she’s taking an active role in the life of her child, but

think it’s pretty interesting and a telling sign that she would not

only discount her own decision, but also belittle what it is to be

a mom. Distancing herself from activism and undermining motherhood

with “just a bunch of moms,” doesn’t do much for her cause or


And for what?

“For us, it’s the morality,” said Aguilar. “Where is the Girl

Scouts going?”

Parents are upset because the Girl Scouts, along with 20 other

organizations, made the mistake of putting their logo on posters

for a sex-ed program sponsored by Planned Parenthood.

The funny thing is the Girl Scouts do not take a stance on sex

education. Girls are not required or directly encouraged to go to

the program. None of the profits from those addicting little

cookies are given to Planned Parenthood.

Even if it was, Planned Parenthood is an important resource in

our community. However you feel about abortions, Planned Parenthood

offers reproductive health care to people who may not be able to

afford it otherwise. They educate our community about sexual

health, including abstinence, in their presentations on how to

prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Pro-Life Waco, the group that promoted the boycott, has harshly

singled out the Girl Scouts amongst the 20 other organizations that

supported the sexual education program.

Pro Life Waco’s leader, John Piscotta, even cites the honoring

of a community leader as a problem. The Waco-based Bluebonnet

Council of Girl Scouts gave Planned Parenthood of Central Texas

director Pam Smallwood the “Woman of Distinction” award. Smallwood

is a strong woman and powerful role model.

I don’t think this goes too much against the policy of Girl

Scouts where “Girls grow strong.” Piscotta disagrees.

“I saw the head of Planned Parenthood held up as a role model to

little girls, that was great irritation to me,” he told the Star


Fortunately, not everyone agrees with Piscotta’s stance. Many

have made the choice to not only ignore the boycott, but buy more

cookies. Sales in Waco are expected to be higher than years


“You (pro-life Waco) just made buying Girl Scout Cookies a

political statement and it’s one I am not afraid to make.” Wrote

M.B. Tankersley in a letter to the Waco Tribune-Herald. “Thanks for

the reminder that we need to support a worthy organization.”

Behind every choice there’s a story and even your personal

cookie preference can be political.

Marika is the news director for KCSU. Her column appears every

other Friday.

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