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Letter: Abortion rights at Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts USA are facing some new problems these days, unheard of in the days my family was heavily involved in scouting.

GSUSA is a founding member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and, having 20 times the budget of WAGGGS, they contribute talent, resources and $1 million annually to them. Through "World Thinking Day" they push others to donate to WAGGGS through their own foundation. With GSUSA's 2.3 million membership, they make up one-fourth of WAGGG's 10 million membership.

And they host WAGGGS at their New York headquarters when WAGGGS goes to the UN as advocates for sexual and abortion rights. What? You heard right. And therein lies the problem.

WAGGGS plays a leadership role in the pro-abortion Bali Global Youth Forum Declaration (December 2012), which is an advocate for youth "sexual rights" (including for 10 year olds) and abortion rights. WAGGGS claims to speak for all 10 million members including the GSUSA. In the Bali Youth Declaration, a dozen times they demand access to abortion or reproductive rights and services, they marginalize the part family and parental consent plays and refer to religious objections to LBGT lifestyles as "religious intolerance."

The GSUSA, at the least, should declare WAGGGS doesn't speak for them or completely repudiate these declarations. Instead, they respond, "no position" and say WAGGGS can speak for themselves and they themselves will use their own discretion on what they integrate into their programs. However, the two are joined at the hip.

It's no surprise International Planned Parenthood and Youth Coalition are on the Bali steering committee. It's no surprise WAGGGS is closely allied with the Obama administration. What is surprising is that WAGGGS also played a major role in shaping Bali's agenda and then pushing it.

At the UN Rio +20 conference, WAGGGS lobbied for sexual and reproductive health rights for all WAGGGS members. Sad!

In my scouting days we camped out, put together a library, hand sewed a layette, danced and had a ball. The girls were allowed to be young and happy and free, my kind of entitlement.

Linda Athens



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