T-shirt latest dispute over Girl Scout-Planned Parenthood links

Council worker told to remove apparel advocating life

Dave Tombers

Document Publication: World Net Daily

Publication Date: January 12, 2012

As bakery ovens are fired up for Girl Scout cookies, preparing the way for half a billion dollars or more in sales this spring, there are a growing number of advocates who want parents of young girls to know just how far the Girl Scouts have drifted into the company of Planned Parenthood.

WND previously documented Girl Scout ties to the leading abortion provider, which the organization vehemently denies, despite an admission by former GSUSA CEO Kathy Cloninger on the Today Show:

Even with the admission, the GSUSA website maintains a denial that there’s any relationship with Planned Parenthood.

A Planned Parenthood Federation website, “Real Life, Real Talk,” which touts itself as a “bold, nationwide, social change effort,” links directly to a Girl Scout Council in Arizona, calling it a “partner.”

The website declares “an aim of changing the social climate in communities by engaging in open talk about sex and health.”

A video on the site openly talks about “changing the America we live in” and features a man in a priest’s collar declaring, “We’re all sexual beings.”

The Facebook page for the group links to articles on sexuality, and a fresh link provides information on how to help the “LGBTQ kids in your life know their rights.”

The website honestgirlscouts.com provides a page titled the “Girl Scouts Wall of Shame” that documents many links between the Girl Scouts and various groups like Planned Parenthood.

WND previously reported on a number of Girl Scout watchdog groups such as speaknowgirlscouts.com that are sounding a similar alarm around the country: “This is not your mother’s Girl Scouts any longer.”

They encourage parents to learn what their young daughters are being exposed to as a Girl Scout.

Many advocates, such as 100questionsforthegirlscouts.com, have carefully researched both direct and indirect connections between Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts and want to know why the group continually misleads the public.

“In addition to being the largest abortion provider in the United States, Planned Parenthood Federation of America is also one of the leading purveyors in the U.S. of explicit ‘comprehensive sexuality education’ for youth,” says the site.

While some may defend partnerships between two groups like Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts, many advocates calling for honesty on the part of the Girl Scouts urge caution regarding the connection.

“Since Planned Parenthood believes that children have a right to sexual pleasure, they provide graphic instruction in their various publications and websites on multiple ways youth can obtain sexual pleasure,” says 100questionsforthegirlscouts.com.

As many girls and their parents learn about these links and leave the Girl Scouts behind, they publicly provide their findings as a service to girls and parents around the world.

Just this month one employee of the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona learned the hard way how pervasive the relationship with the largest abortion provider in the country really is.

This latest controversy occurred in Tuscon, Ariz., where a Girl Scout employee stopped by her office, on her day off, wearing a pro-life T-shirt. She was promptly told to “take it off” despite the fact that she’s worn it there before.

Renise Rodriguez, 21, had been employed by the Girl Scout Council of Southern Arizona, also known as the Sauharo Council, as a girl experience associate since January 2011.

She told WND that after the way her boss treated her last week, she has now quit.

“I have nothing but good things to say about my boss, but I had a real problem with how she treated me,” she said.

Rodriguez said that on her day off she stopped by the office to drop off a few supplies for a co-worker and look at the work schedule.

“I would have only been there for a minute, but [Girl Scouts] ask you to check your email every time you’re in the building.

“On my way out of the building a co-worker questioned me on a troop schedule, and I didn’t have the answer so I suggested we ask our boss.

“I stepped into my supervisors office, and she very abruptly said, ‘You have got to take that shirt off.’”

Rodriguez said that the offensive shirt contained the words “pray to end abortion.”

“I tried to explain to her that I simply had a question and would be leaving, and she repeated, ‘You have got to take that shirt off.’”

She said that she finally finished asking her supervisor her scheduling question and, based on the answer, needed to retrieve a few supplies.

The supervisor then said to her, “lf you are staying in the building, you have to turn that shirt inside out.”

Rodriguez told WND that she was so shocked and embarrassed by the treatment she received, she left the building in tears. She quit the next day.

“I’ve worked there for a year, and there is no enforcement of a dress code,” she told WND.

“Everyone wears T-shirts with or without words or graphics all the time,” she said. “I’ve even worn that very same shirt before, and no one said anything.”

WND contacted Debbie Rich, CEO of the Southern Arizona Girl Scout Council, who provided a written statement: “We, the members of Girl Scouts of the United States of America, (are) united by a belief in God… We believe that the motivating force in Girl Scouting is a spiritual one.”

The statement contradicted Rodriguez’s assertion about the lack of an enforced dress code.

“In this day and age when people are turned into walking billboards, attire, when present in our council offices, during troop meetings and Girl Scout activities, should be professional business attire, Girl Scout attire or plain shirts without any social, political or commercial messages.

“This is for everyone – employees, volunteers and troop members,” the statement said.

“Rodriguez told WND that she’s confused by that statement, because flip-flops, shorts and T-shirts are normal attire for both girls and leaders.

WND also spoke to a co-worker of Rodriquez who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

“Miss Rich’s statement is a little misleading,” she said. “Our dress code consists of reminders about low-cut tops, or displaying bra straps, and to my knowledge doesn’t discuss messages on T-shirts.

“If it does, it’s very loosely enforced.”

Rich’s statement said that Rodriguez missed a recent reminder about attire.

“In fact, we had recently held our weekly Friday session reminding and updating employees of our policies and procedures. Attire was one of the topics covered.

“It is especially unfortunate that our employee Renise Rodriguez, the young woman profiled recently in the news, was unable to attend the weekly staff meeting. We can appreciate that it may have been due to her school or work schedule.”

Rich then gave a slightly different version of events from what Rodriguez told WND:

On the day in question, Ms. Rodriguez came into the council office, clocked in for work and was preparing materials for her troop meeting that evening.

She’s been leading two of our troops and has done a good job.

As she was preparing for the troop meeting, her supervisor came to her and said that T-shirts with commercial, political or social messages weren’t appropriate when representing the Girl Scouts and she had three options for attire: she could wear one of the many Girl Scout shirts available at the Council office, she could turn her shirt inside out or she could go home and change into a plain shirt.

“I’m very disappointed by this misrepresentation,” Rodriguez told WND. “I was given one, very abrupt option – ‘take the shirt off.’”

Although the Girl Scout statement goes on to insist that Rodriguez had been a valuable employee and role model, and even suggests that Rodriguez can have her job back, Rodriguez wonders if it’s less about “social messages” on attire and more about the Girl Scout affiliation with pro-abortion groups.

She told WND that she became concerned about reports she had seen regarding the Girl Scout’s affiliation with Planned Parenthood and even sent Rich an email asking her to confirm or deny any links between the two groups. The email was never answered.

The T-shirt Rodriguez was wearing on the day in question came from a line of pro-life apparel produced by Bryan Kemper, who is the director of Youth Outreach at Priests for Life.

He had this to say: “As a father of three daughters it saddens me that I cannot trust an organization like the Girl Scouts to teach the kind of values that young women need.

“I hope parents around the nation will reconsider allowing the Girl Scouts to get a hold of their daughters minds, especially as they are more and more connected to the likes of Planned Parenthood.”

Read the Priests for Life Press Release about Renise Rodriguez



Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: mail@priestsforlife.org