Girl Scout Cookies, Wendy Davis, and Abortions – The Newest Conservative Nontroversy

girlscoutcookiesSo if you haven’t heard yet, there is another one of those conservative outrage “nontroversies” blowing up. This time it’s about Girl Scouts. You heard that right, Girl Scouts; the organization that since 1912 has dedicated itself to empowering girls, and helping them to become confident and courageous women. So, what do Girl Scout cookies have to do with abortions? Two words, Wendy Davis (and also money – what else is new?). Full disclosure: I was a Girl Scout for almost 10 years, so this personally offends me on some level.

This all started back in December of 2013, when the Girl Scouts tweeted a link to a Huffington Post article titled “Incredible Ladies Who Should Be Women Of The Year For 2013.” The list included Beyonce, Malala Yousafzai, and Wendy Davis. Queue conservative outrage. But it didn’t come. At least not right away, anyway. Then all of a sudden on Wednesday, the conservative news site (can you even call it that?) Breitbart published an article alerting readers that John Pisciotta, a conservative who runs a pro-life organization in Waco, Texas, and other national pro-life organizations would be announcing a national boycott of Girl Scout cookies, because according to Pisciotta, “A part of every Thin Mint and Do-Si-Do, every Samoa and Savannah Smile goes to support abortion advocacy.” The article – which also implicitly claims that the Girl Scouts’ “endorsement” (if you can even call the tweet that) of Wendy Davis is what drove Mr. Pisciotta to call for the boycott – further states:

“Pisciotta says people should look closely at where the money goes from these sales. The Girl Scouts claims that 100% of cookie revenue stays with the regional councils, with a portion going to the local troop, and that the national office receives no revenue from cookie sales. However, Girl Scouts USA receives millions in licensing fees for every box sold, money that contributes substantially to its enormous budget.

Ann Saladin, who runs MyGirlScoutCouncil.com, points out that even the regional councils, and therefore much of the cookie money, are directly implicated in abortion advocacy. Her website lists all the local councils with abortion troubles.

The Girl Scouts also claims that no cookie money goes to any other group. However, Girl Scouts USA makes an annual donation of $1.5 million to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, a group on record as supporting reproductive health and rights for its members.”

Despite what Mr. Pisciotta and his followers may believe, an article published in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in January of last year explains that, “100 percent of cookie sale proceeds stays local, 22 percent goes directly to the troop, 40 percent goes to the local council for operations, [and] the remaining amount covers production and shipping costs.”

Moreover, Girl Scouts explains the following:

“All of the revenue earned from cookie activities—every penny after paying the baker—stays with the local Girl Scout council. Each council determines its own revenue structure depending on its cookie cost, local retail price, and the amount that is shared with participating troops and groups… [and that] Girl Scout councils do not provide any portion of their cookie revenue to Girl Scouts of the USA, and no other revenue from cookie sales goes to Girl Scouts of the USA.”

But apparently one article wasn’t enough, because Thursday, Breitbart decided to publish a follow up article to let readers know that despite the fact, “Girl Scouts have apologized for seeming to endorse abortion advocate Wendy Davis in a tweet late last month… organizers and supporters of a planned boycott of Girl Scout Cookies are not impressed by the statement from the girls’ youth organization,” and will continue to move forward with the boycott. Of course the article wasn’t complete without a few choice tweets from boycott supporters like, “@girlscouts Sorry GSA when you partnered w Planned Parenthood you alienated half of us. No cookies, donations, interest from me,” and “@girlscouts Didn’t know this. Giving up my Do-si-dos this year I guess.”

Of course not to be outdone, World Net Daily also jumped on the boycott bandwagon and provided their own thoughts about why a cookie boycott might be a good idea. You probably already know the gist of it, but here’s an excerpt:

“WND has reported on a variety of activities on the part of Girl Scouts that conservatives and religious believers might find objectionable, including when the organization was found touting  a pro-abortion politician. Girl Scouts also marched in a homosexual promotion in San Francisco and were found to be removing “God” from their “Girl Scout Promise.” They also have incorporated stone labyrinths, global warming, yoga, avatars, smudging incense, Zen gardens and lesbian role models into their teachings.”

Oh my! Global warming, yoga, and lesbian role models – run for the hills!

Just so we’re clear, a tweet which allegedly endorses Wendy Davis + a donation to a group that supports women’s reproductive health (among many other things) which doesn’t come from the proceeds of cookie sales = GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SALES PROMOTE THE DIRTY LIBERAL AGENDA SO WE MUST BOYCOTT THIN MINTS. BE RELENTLESS PEOPLE. BE RELENTLESS. ‘MURICA!

Honestly, things like this are just so ridiculous, they make me want to lose my mind and eat cookies; Girl Scout cookies of course, preferably Tagalongs, but I’m also a big fan of Samoas, and who can resist a Thin Mint? The mother of a Girl Scout put it to me best when she said this, “I just read that the righties are boycotting the Girl Scouts because of their support for Wendy Davis. Would you consider commenting about it and promoting the cookies???? Cookies and milk for all! Don’t screw with the Girl Scouts, right?!”

That’s right. Don’t screw with the Girl Scouts. As a former Girl Scout, I can tell you that I have many fond memories of going away to camp, going on trips, and working on badges, and that being a Girl Scout taught me many important life lessons. Girl Scouting is good for girls and that’s what we need – more empowered young women who are eventually going to be the next Wendy Davises of the world. So go on, buy a few extra boxes of cookies this year – your waistline might hate you, but knowing you are pissing off a conservative by doing it might be worth a few extra pounds. And hey, there is always yoga.

Ilyssa Fuchs

Ilyssa Fuchs is an attorney, freelance writer, and activist from New York City, who holds both a juris doctor and a political science degree. She is the founder of the popular Facebook page Politically Preposterous and a blog of the same name. Follow Ilyssa on Twitter @IlyssaFuchs, and be sure to check out her archives on Forward Progressives as well!

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