The Girl Scouts want you to know that nothing has happened to Josh Ackley. Last month, Breitbart News reported that Ackley–the main media spokesman for the Scouts–was also the lead singer of a “homopunk” band, The Dead Betties, who made several controversial videos, including one where a woman is strangled and another where a young man writhes naked on the ground and appears to touch his genitals.
Within a few days of the story breaking, the Girl Scouts scrubbed Ackley from their media page, though the Scouts tweeted on December 19 that he was still around: “We’re happy to clear this up for you. Not only is Josh Ackley still employed, no one has been demoted.” Not only is Ackley still working for the Scouts in media, an investigation of the source code of the Girl Scout blog suggests Ackley is still blogging for the organization.
@girlscouts awesome! I would like to hear more about it.
— season (@seasontaylor) December 24, 2013
Many who watch the Girl Scouts and their leftward drift viewed the Josh Ackley scandal as merely a sideshow–certainly an illumination into the current Girl Scout mindset, but still just a sideshow.
The real story of the rolling Girl Scout scandal is their attachment to feminist politics, particularly their connection to Planned Parenthood, which is the largest single abortion provider in the United States. Breitbart’s Susan Berry has reported on these connections extensively.
So, it came as no surprise that the new Girl Scout media spokesman came from the Ms. Foundation, one of the preeminent abortion advocacy groups in the country. Until this past spring, Kelly Parisi was Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the foundation founded in 1973 by Gloria Steinham and now connected to the Feminist Majority Foundation that calls abortion “a matter of survival.”
According to their own website, in 2012 the Ms Foundation for Women contributed more than $1 million to abortion advocacy.
Parisi told an interviewer what keeps her awake at night: “The last two years have generated record numbers of restrictions on reproductive rights across the county.”
It was during her tenure at the Ms. Foundation that Parisi joined in a national campaign to punish the Susan G. Komen Foundation for trying to defund Planned Parenthood. James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal called the campaign “a protection racket. Nice charity you’ve got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it.”
The Komen Foundation had been the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world but had come under pressure over the years from pro-lifers for donating to Planned Parenthood. Komen leadership decided they wanted out of the culture wars, so they tried to defund their annual donations to 19 Planned Parenthood clinics.
Planned Parenthood and its allies struck back. A national campaign was initiated that included the major news media, members of Congress, disgruntled Komen employees, and corporate leaders. Even Lance Armstrong got involved; his foundation gave $100,000 to Planned Parenthood to help replace the Komen money.
Parisi and the Ms. Foundation joined the campaign by raising donations that were turned over to Planned Parenthood ostensibly to make up for the money withdrawn from Komen, even though Komen’s million dollar donation to Planned Parenthood was a drop in the billion-dollar-a-year Planned Parenthood bucket. Parisi boasted about the effectiveness of the Ms. Foundation effort.
The Ms. Foundation is not the only abortion-friendly group Parisi has worked for. Prior to the Ms. Foundation, Parisi did communications work for the Children’s Health Fund, which petitioned the Department of Health and Human Services to include abortion services in the Affordable Care Act.
In recent years, the Girl Scouts have been plagued by serious problems. Over the past decade, membership has declined by 7% from 2.8 million members to 2.2 million. At the same time, the Girl Scouts have consolidated councils from a total of 312 to 112. From 2007 to 2011, donations dropped a whopping 29% from $148 million to $104 million. And, according to a lawsuit filed by former Girl Scout employees, the Girl Scout pension plan had a surplus of $150 million in 2007 but now has a deficit of $347 million.
Girl Scout reform advocates like former Girl Scout mom Christy Volanski believe the declines have everything to do with the radicalization of the Girl Scouts, something that has been noticed by politically conservative moms and dads who have taken their daughters out of Scouting and put them into alternative groups like American Heritage Girls.
Given the appointment of an abortion advocate and the continued presence of homopunk singer Josh Ackley, Volanksi says she “doesn’t see that the Girl Scouts have any kind of plan to change course.”