Girl Scouts Heart of the South Council wants to be clear: Please don’t bring abortion up at cookie booths.
That happened this weekend at a grocery store in Munford while a group of Ambassadors – who are high school juniors and seniors – worked a booth.
“A gentleman told them he wouldn’t buy cookies because he didn’t support their stance on abortion,” said Kristen Posey Russell, the council’s chief marketing officer. “It’s frustrating because these are kids, they’re not adults.”
As an organization, Girl Scouts of the USA has a neutral position on abortion and other topics relating to sexuality, said Posey Russell.
“That’s considered a sensitive topic and we typically allow the parents and guardians to deal with that.”
If there’s a program on a sensitive topic – child abuse or bullying in schools, for instance – parents are asked to sign a permission form if they choose to allow their child to participate. Those programs never include abortion, however.
GSUSA is partnered with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and, because the global organization also includes countries in which human trafficking and sexual abuse are more prevalent, WAGGGS does have a position statement which promotes “providing girls and young women with appropriate education, information, skills and access to health services to enable informed and responsible health choices.”
“There are girls in third world countries dealing with other issues so those organizations have taken a different stance than the Girl Scouts of the USA,” said Posey Russell. “It’s like the UN and though the US is part of the UN it doesn’t mean the US has the same positions on issues as every other country does.”
Further, she said, when you buy cookies the proceeds stay in the community and help local girl scouts.
“Why would you think that buying Girl Scout cookies supports abortion? All of that money stays in the council to help with community service activities, traveling, camp … that will all stay in Millington and Tipton County.”
And aside from the topic of abortion, Posey Russell is asking local patrons to make sure they’re acting in ways that are appropriate.
While working the booth the same weekend, someone yelled a racially-charged term at an African-American woman in the parking lot. The girl scouts there were also African-American.
“This wasn’t directed at them, and was a separate incident, but it was still really inappropriate.”
There are two more weekends of Girl Scout cookie sales. To find out where the booths will be located, see http://www.girlscoutshs.org/en/cookies/about-girl-scout-cookies.html.