C-FAM stands by report of graphic brochures at Girl Scout event

3 17 2010  GS UN

The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) has stated that it stands by its reporting of a sexually explicit Planned Parenthood brochure being distributed at an international Girl Scouts meeting. At the same time, a spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts USA told CNA that if graphic brochures were passed out “it wasn't from us, it wasn't known to us.”

C-FAM's “Friday Fax” reported last week spoke on how the recent World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts hosted a panel in which Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute brochures containing sexually explicit material to the girls. The panel served as part of the annual U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

According to C-FAM, the brochures titled, “Happy, Healthy and Hot,” were aimed at young people with HIV and gave graphic details on sex, encouraging a casual approach to sexual experimentation.

Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) media manager Michelle Tompkins responded to the C-FAM article by sending CNA an official GSUSA “fact sheet” which states that “the stories that are circulating on the internet and blogs” regarding the pamphlets “are factually inaccurate.”

“Only seven adults were in the room at the time of the meeting, each representing one of the sponsors of the event,” the statement says. “No one from Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute was in the room to report on the event.”

“The girls received a copy of the only document they were working on titled ('The Girls’ Statement'). No other documents were given to the girls as part of this event.”

The GSUSA fact sheet goes on to note that the room where the Girl Scout meeting was held hosted several different events throughout the day and was not cleaned of trash and materials before the girls entered the room. GSUSA also said that they were not contacted by C-FAM about the accusations surrounding the pamphlets.

Michelle Tompkins reiterated the position of GSUSA on Wednesday in a phone interview on CNA, and said that if the Planned Parenthood brochures were distributed at the U.N. meeting “it wasn't from us, it wasn't known to us.” Tompkins also charged that C-FAM's “Friday Fax” article on the brochures smacks of “very bad journalism.”

C-FAM president Austin Ruse responded to the media firestorm caused by their reporting of the event by issuing a statement on Tuesday and reiterating his stance in a phone interview with CNA on Wednesday.

“We have been inundated with responses from Girl Scout moms, Girl Scout leaders and others angered and confused that such a thing could happen,” stated Ruse on March 16.“The Girl Scouts have flatly denied that the sex guide was available at their UN conference. We stand by our story and based on new evidence we go further. The sex guide was distributed with the full knowledge and consent of the Girl Scouts-USA.”

Austin Ruse proceeded in his statement to address the accusations that C-FAM falsely reported the incident, saying, “The Girl Scouts imply another group left the literature prior to their panel. Understand that the Girl Scout meeting was on opening day of the conference (March 1), which means the room was clean of all literature that morning.”

“There were four other meetings in that room that day prior to the Girl Scouts meeting,” Ruse added. “At 10 am the NAACP had a meeting about climate change. At noon the UN had an orientation meeting for NGOs attending the conference. At 2 pm CORAID had a meeting about counterterrorism and women.”

“Very clearly, none of these meetings were on adolescent topics, which was the target audience of the sex guide,” he added.

“The Girl Scouts say we were not in the room,” Ruse continued. “That is true. All non-Scout adults were thrown out prior the meeting; and no wonder given what was distributed there. However, even though our source was thrown out of the room, she stayed around and as the doors closed she went right in to see what was being distributed. It was there and then that she found the stack of dangerous sex brochures.”

“The source for our story and the woman who went into the room to monitor what the Girl Scouts were doing is mother of seven Sharon Slater who is also president of longtime UN pro-family group Family Watch International.”

Ruse also cited a 2004 interview on the Today Show with Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts, who stated that the Girls Scouts “partner with many organizations” including “Planned Parenthood.”

“If the Girl Scouts do not approve of the sex guide that they made available at their conference, they should say so. If they do not approve of the brochure and its message, they should say so,” Ruse concluded. “The Girl Scouts have an obligation to their members, to the girls and their parents to disassociate themselves from this dangerous Planned Parenthood sex guide for teenagers.”

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