Girl Scouts, WAGGGS, and Abortion: Still A Problem

The most challenging, least satisfying writing I’ve done since I started covering religion was this two part piece on the Girl Scouts. It percolated for months as I sifted through tons of information and tried to figure out just what the Girl Scouts of the USA were doing, if it was compatible with Catholic values, and what parents should do about it.

It was a frustrating experience because there was just enough information to indicate the GSUSA was acting in bad faith, but little that was clear and decisive. The leadership of the GSUSA–larded with leftists, one-worlders, pro-aborts, global warming zealots, and gay marriage boosters–had left enough plausible deniability to explain away the concerns of many. Their affiliation with the aggressively pro-abortion global scouting group WAGGGS was certainly a major concern, but how much impact did that have on the day to day life of average Girl Scouts?

I resisted–and still, to some degree, resist–the idea of Catholics pulling back from the group. Why should we abandon an organization, founded by Baden-Powell, to the forces of moral relativism and the culture of death? It’s as much ours as theirs: moreso, since our values are the true values of scouting. Scouts don’t retreat: we fight. We do the world no good at all if we stay in a little Catholic ghetto. That, however, is easy to say, hard to practice, particularly when it means using little girls for your battles and supporting things that are objectively evil.

At the time I wrote my article, my daughter was still in GSUSA, but while our local leadership was good and she enjoyed it, the troubling materials coming from the national organization (and the knowledge that our dues were going to support WAGGGS) didn’t sit right with us. It didn’t help that, from an organisational standpoint, the GSUSA is run like crap. It’s little more than a cookie distribution empire with badges. I discouraged her from rejoining in middle school, and instead she found a happy home in the far-superior 4H program, where she can can indulge her love of critters without the constant “PLEASE RECYCLE OR YOU HATE THE PLANET!” subtext coursing through every page of the Girl Scout activity book.

Mary Hasson has been following more recent developments, including the GSUSA’s absolute refusal to take a position on the latest militant abortion advocacy from WAGGGS. The new outrage from WAGGGS is its intimate involvement in the Bali Global Youth Forum Declaration. Here’s what Hasson has to say:

First, realize how radical the Bali Youth Declaration really is: it asserts “sexual rights” for youth (including 10 year-olds) on nearly every page and demands, over a dozen times, youth access to “abortion” or “reproductive rights” and services. It marginalizes families—decrying parental consent and “age of consent” restrictions in sexual and reproductive matters—and casts religious objections to LBGT lifestyles as “religious intolerance.” Not surprisingly, the pro-abortion chorus embraces the Declaration.

There’s more to know about the Bali Declaration, but what’s most relevant here are the architects behind its design.

The Declaration reflects the handiwork of the Global Youth Forum’s International Steering Committee, a group stacked with abortion providers and abortion-advocacy groups, such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Youth Coalition.

Who else’s fingerprints are all over the Declaration?  WAGGGS.

WAGGGS was heavily invested in formulating the Declaration. Its leaders,including WAGGGS’ Senior Advocacy Coordinator, not only served on the Forum’s Steering Committee, but also worked for six months on the Taskforcesthat shaped the conference agenda, the resulting Declaration, and follow-up activities.  At the Bali summit, WAGGGS representatives facilitated breakout sessions and presented youth “recommendations” to the plenary sessions. Now WAGGGS promotes the Declaration and advocates for its implementation.

Two things were very clear in my research: 1) WAGGGS is a radical group pushing an agenda at direct odds with our values, and 2) WAGGGS is doing the dirty work of the GSUSA (which is the largest contributor to its operating budget) while allowing the GSUSA to say they “take no position” on these controversial topics.

Of course, when someone is pushing a radical agenda, silence is a position.

Read the rest of what Hasson has to say, and if you are still in Girl Scouts, make your voice heard.

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About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • TXCatholic

    Thanks for sharing this important information — families deserve to know. You might also want to check out the recent Missouri Right to Life policy statement on the Girl Scouts (adopted in January 2013). The statement is relevant for every GSUSA member (not just Missourians) and the accompanying documentation is very solid.

  • myfourfish

    Great article! To see that WAGGGS truly does touch our girls, please consider the first hand experience of one former (Catholic) Girl Scout family. SEE PAGE 7 at

  • Theodore Seeber

    This makes me wish Catholic Daughters had a program like the Knights of Columbus Squires.

  • Emily

    You have raised some interesting points but I would have to say I disagree. WAGGGS is not a radical group. The idea that girls and young women should be able to voice their thoughts, concerns and ideas around THEIR reproductive health and rights is not a radical idea. You will no doubt have heard of the suffragettes and their efforts and success in making women’s voices be heard in society? Same idea, different issues in today’s climate.

    How is ANYONE meant to make smart, informed decisions around ANYTHING in their life if they are not informed or educated around all the options available to them?

    WAGGGS is also one of the most inclusive movements in the world where no one is penalised for their views and opinions.

    From what you have written here I would hazard a guess that you were uncomfortable with the way in which your daughters scout group was run. I am sorry to hear that, but i would ask you to please not let one bad experience on a local level let you cast a judgement on an entire global movement of which 10 million girls and women are so passionate about.

  • TXCatholic

    Emily — WAGGGS is now promoting and helped create the Bali Global Youth Forum Declaration that demands the leglization of sex work (prostitution). Do you find that radical? And reproductive rights — meaning abortion — meaning killing innocent babies — yes, that too is radical. And what does that have to do with scouting?

  • Elizabeth Ashby

    I would agree that WAGGGS is indeed a radical group. See this screen shot here for proof:

  • Rochelle

    Thank you so very much for writing on this very concerning subject. Please see a copy of an email response from the GSUSA Vice President of Global Girl Scouting/Strategic Alliances, Sandy Thomas, stating “Through GSUSA’s membership all our girl and adult members are members of WAGGGS. The amount of .44, is the approximate amount GSUSA pays per member as the WAGGGS quota is figure on the number of members.”

  • bonnie dalton

    Why no mention of the un united nations or george soros or nwo ,new world order and lesbbo gay movement . I would like to know why none of the above have been arrested for distribution of pornography to minors that has been provided to planned parenthood org by george soros


    Bonnie — what’s in this blog is plenty offensive (and factual). Many thanks to the author for sharing.

  • HGS Member

    @Emily, how is it smart to promote prostitution as “decent employment” for 10-year-olds? You must read the Bali Global Youth Forum Declaration to fully understand how radical (and dangerous) Girl Scouts are; declaring little children have “sex rights” at age 10, advocating they turn tricks (objectify themselves) for money, encouraging them to hide their sexual activity and contraception from their parents and abort, abort, abort. Is that what Girl Scouting means in the Girl Scout Law’s creed to “Respect myself and others”?

  • HGS Member

    THANK YOU, Thomas McDonald for caring about children and writing this most important of entries! Please look into Girl Scouts’ advocacy to legalize prostitution issue and WRITE MORE about Girl Scouts’ moral decline. Parents and cookie-buyers need to know what they are supporting with their hard-earned money.

  • Theodore Seeber

    I find genocide to be radical no matter who is calling for it. And the abortion issue, has indeed become a genocide.

  • Oregon Catholic

    Sounds like there could be a pedophile agenda behind this as well.
    From Wiki: Approximately 30 percent of prostitutes in Indonesia are children, and child sex tourism has become an issue at the resort islands of Batam and Bali.

  • Christina Karnes

    Have you checked to so if you have a local American Heritage Girls group? It is not Catholic, but lots of Catholic bishops have approved the organization. Our church has had a group for four years now and we love it.

  • Christina Karnes

    We left Girls Scouts for American Heritage Girls. We love it. It was created by parents who where disenchanted with the liberal agenda of Girl Scouts.

  • Skittle

    This Thinking Day, we (my local Girl Guiding group in the UK) decided to ignore everything on the WAGGGS website and do a generic, traditional Thinking Day.

    Seriously, what possible explanation could they offer for why Ireland (of all places) was listed as one of the 4 target countries for “reduce maternal mortality” and “reduce infant mortality”? Ireland is actually really good on both of these. They didn’t even try to offer an actual reason, and deliberately shied away from what we were presumably supposed to think about (the news story of the single denied abortion and the dead woman).

    It’s got so political.

  • concerned Dad

    EWTN RADIO recently had an update show on the “GOOD FIGHT” about the many concerns with the Girl Scout program (the show aired on February 2nd, 2013. Listen to the show here: part 1( & part 2 (