Toward the end of December, Girl Scout USA’s official Twitter account tweeted out a Huffington Post story about the inspiring individuals who should be considered to be 2013’s “women of the year.” The article included figures like Beyonce, Malala Yousafzai, and Wendy Davis — and the organization asked its followers who else should be added to the list of “incredible ladies.” That was enough for anti-choice activists to call for a national boycott of the organization’s popular cookies, claiming the Girl Scouts have endorsed “pro-abortion politician Wendy Davis.”
“We’re asking you to boycott Girl Scout cookies in 2014,” reads a new site dedicated to the boycott, explaining that Davis should not be lifted up as a “worthy role model for our children.” The same accusation is being leveled against the group in regard to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was included in a different news article about influential U.S. women that the Girl Scouts shared on its Facebook page.
The controversy has been building for several weeks. At the beginning of this month, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly hosted a panel discussion about the organization’s tweet. Panelists suggested that sharing any material related to Davis violates the Girl Scouts’ policy to remain uninvolved in politics.
Davis, who is currently running for governor in Texas, rose to prominence over the summer when she filibustered a package of stringent abortion restrictions. That move transformed the state senator into the public face of a large grassroots movement in Texas fighting back against attacks on reproductive rights. Since then, Davis has become somewhat of a symbol for the anti-choice community, which sometimes refers to her as an “Abortion Barbie” and suggests that she stands with illegal abortion provider and convicted murderer Kermit Gosnell.
The Girl Scouts’ supposed endorsement of the Democratic lawmaker is hardly the first time that the organization has landed in hot water with conservative groups. The national organization has been harshly criticized for its ties with Planned Parenthood over the past several years, and some anti-choice activists suggest that Girls Scouts USA actively promotes a “radical feminist agenda.” Last year, one right-wing preacher and radio host suggested that the organization is a “wicked” group that is an agent of lesbianism.
In reality, Girl Scouts USA takes no official position on either abortion or birth control. Organization officials repeatedly emphasize that these are topics best discussed between girls and their parents.
“CookieCott 2014” is encouraging supporters to share a flier to spread the word about the “pro-life concerns” with the national organization.