Many Americans are pulling out their wallets and checkbooks again — and in some places this year, even their credit cards — to purchase cookies on their doorsteps from a well-known annual cookie distributor: the Girl Scouts.
This year, however, those Girl Scouts — and their cookie revenue — are under attack because of their affiliation with Planned Parenthood.
A Washington Post editorial recently brought attention to this affiliation and the negative impact it may have on the Girl Scouts' bottom line as potential buyers express concern. The main contentions are about the Girl Scouts' ties to pro-abortion groups and reports, denied by Girl Scout headquarters, that the organization distributed sexually explicit material from Planned Parenthood to young girls. The column also discusses the lack of consistency between Girl Scout CEO Kathy Cloninger's admission that the organization has a relationship with Planned Parenthood and the claim on the Girl Scouts website that they have no affiliation with Planned Parenthood.
These concerns arise coincident to the resignation of Karen Handel, vice president for public policy for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Komen recently reversed a decision canceling funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings because of the public outcry against the cancellation, according to an article in the New York Times. Many pointed to Handel as the driving force behind the initial decision; in her resignation, Handel refuted this, saying the entire administration was behind the decision the entire time, the Times said.
Grants from Komen funded 170,000 of the 4 million breast exams conducted in the last five years, according to Planned Parenthood and reported by the Associated Press. Every dollar donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Planned Parenthood will go directly toward breast examinations, diagnoses and public education, Planned Parenthood said.
United Way has also been under attack for its $1.9 million contribution to Planned Parenthood, lifenews.com reports. According to the article, United Way responded to the accusation by asserting its position of not supporting abortion services. It said the money it donates goes to community health awareness, family planning, health education and counseling, among other things. However, the article brings up criticism that money donated to these branches frees up Planned Parenthood money to pay for abortion services.