Amid the news that the Susan G. Komen Foundation may (or may not) be reversing its decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, it is worth taking a moment to realize just how ridiculous yet effective the right-wing campaign against Planned Parenthood has been.
For instance, back in 2010, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute alleged that during a United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Girl Scouts "hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations ... where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled 'Healthy, Happy and Hot' [which] contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms."
The only problem was that it wasn't true. As the Girl Scouts explained, all the organizations at the conference had been using the same rooms and so if there were any Planned Parenhood brochures present in the room when they held their meeting, it was only because they had been left behind after previous sessions.
As we pointed out back in 2010, the enitre allegation doesn't even make sense as the purpose of the brochure in question is aimed at teaching people about how to lead sexually fulfilling lives while living with HIV? Are we really supposed to believe that the Girl Scouts kicked everyone out of the room so that Planned Parenthood could present this information to a bunch of young girls?
But the fact that the entire thing is fundamentally absurd, all of the Religious Right's anti-Planned Parenthood crusders ate it up and have repeated it ad nauseum until it has gotten to the point where it is now so accepted as fact that Girl Scout leaders have to spend time repeatedly swatting down the rumor while losing sales:
For decades The Girl Scouts of America has been dedicated to helping young girls learn life skills. But now the organization is having to defending itself against a rumor that they say is disrupting sales of their biggest fund raiser - cookies.
The rumor started two years ago and connects the Girl Scouts to Planned Parenthood.
The CEO of the Silver Sage Girl Scouts Council, Shelli Rambo Roberson says the rumor has been fueled by social media sites and blogs, and for some reason, it's gaining traction this year.
Roberson says the rumor started at a global forum in Europe about the status of women in the world.
“Out of that came a rumor that there was some training given to girls from Planned Parenthood, and there is absolutely no merit to that,” said Roberson.
The rumor claims sexually explicit information was given to the Girl Scouts by members of Planned Parenthood.
“There's no partnership or interaction between Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood,” said Roberson.
Even though the incident allegedly happened two years ago, they're now seeing more people reacting.
“We have girls report to us that people have said they won't support them,” said Roberson.
Within the four Girl Scout offices in south Idaho, they've received over 200 phone calls from concerned citizens and e-mails continue to fill their in boxes.
And it is no wonder that the Girl Scouts have to keep dealing with this considering that groups like the Family Research Council, which employs the wife of the president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute which started the rumor in the first place, continue to spread it:
It looks like liberals finally got caught with their hands in the cookie jar! After people like FRC's Cathy Ruse started exposing the connection between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood, more customers are pulling their support from the annual fundraiser. One news outlet in Idaho, says more than 200 people have complained, bringing cookie sales to one of their lowest points. Shelli Rambo Roberson, the CEO of the local Council, claims there's no partnership. It's just a "rumor," she told reporters.
Not so, says Cathy, who has plenty of documentation from a special U.N. "Girls Only" workshop co-hosted by Planned Parenthood and the Girl Scouts. The workshop included a graphic sex manual called "Healthy, Happy, and Hot," full of ideas too pornographic to repeat. It's part of a joint project to bring "better sexual health" to girls as young as 10. And while some troop leaders are committed to raising women of integrity, we can't turn a blind eye to the Girl Scout headquarters, which is bombarding girls with topics like abortion, contraception, and homosexuality.