Skip to comments.LifeNews Tells Girl Scouts: We Won’t Stop Reporting Your Link to Planned Parenthood
Posted on 02/18/2014 6:18:54 PM PST by Morgana
Through our attorney, LifeNews has issued a response to Girl Scouts USA, which recently sent us an a letter attempting to intimidate LifeNews and pressure us to stop reporting on its links to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
During the last two weeks, LifeNews has brought international attention to the link between the Girl Scouts and the Planned Parenthood abortion business and the national boycott of Girl Scouts cookies sponsored by pro-life groups.
As we reported, after a series of LifeNews articles on the boycott and the Girl Scouts-Planned Parenthood link, that featured the Girl Scouts logo to identify the organization, Brian Crawford, an executive with Girl Scouts USA, wrote LifeNews a scathing letter attempting to intimidate us into stopping our reporting on their link and to no longer use their logo or image to identify them as we bring attention to their support for the nations biggest abortion business.
girlscouts2Ultimately, the Girl Scouts USA letter has nothing to do with a logo and is really about intimidation. GSUSA doesnt want people to know about its push for Planned Parenthood/abortion and this kind of letter is used as an intimidation tactic to attempt to get us to back down in our reporting. Sadly, the Girl Scouts has already intimidated one whistleblower into acquiescing to their demands to no longer use their logo when reporting on their pro-Planned Parenthood agenda. LifeNews saw the same kind of intimidation last year when, after sending us a similar threatening letter with their logo as the diversion tactic, NAACP attorneys sued LifeNews writer Ryan Bomberger following his reports at LifeNews about its continued abortion advocacy. The NAACP has since spent hundreds of thousands of dollars suing him in court and Ryan is awaiting a judges ruling in the case to defend his free speech. The lawsuit has had nothing to do with a logo and everything to do with trying to stop LifeNews from exposing the NAACPs pro-abortion agenda.
LifeNews attorney, Chris Ingold, who is affiliated with Alliance Defending Freedom, responded to the Girl Scouts on behalf of LifeNews.
In its letter to LifeNews, GSUSA claimed it has no links or ties to Planned Parenthood despite lengthy evidence to the contrary. LifeNews responded by asking GSUSA to provide information about which, if any, LifeNews articles about the ways in which the Girl Scouts have promoted abortion, Planned Parenthood or pro-abortion activists contain errors.
At a minimum, it will be important to learn from the Girl Scouts which articles the organization finds offensive, and why. Regardless of any concerns of the Girl Scouts about my clients use of logos to clarify matters in news stories, it is always my clients intent to make sure information in the news stories is as accurate as possible. So, please contact us for further discussions about the information used in the stories and any clarifications that you believe would be important to share with the many readers of my clients news articles, Ingold wrote in LifeNews reply.
We also welcome further dialog with the Girl Scouts about the underlying facts of the LifeNews articles that outline alleged ties of the Girl Scouts with Planned Parenthood, he added.
GSUSA has yet to respond with any citations of any factual errors in LifeNews reports or evidence proving they are erroneous.
Ingold further writes that GSUSA cites the wrong code in its attempt to prevent LifeNews from using its logo in reports on its Planned Parenthood advocacy and maintains LifeNews, as a media outlet, has a First Amendment right to identify the Girl Scouts in our reporting.
In error, Mr. Crawford cited to 36 U.S.C. § 80106 et. seq. (NOTE: that section of the Code addresses the distribution of assets of the General Federation of Womens Club upon liquidation), as a basis upon which the Girl Scouts sought to bar the use of the Girl Scouts logo on the LifeNews website. I believe Mr. Crawford meant to reference 36 U.S.C. § 80305 (emphasis added), which reads as follows:
The corporation has the exclusive right to use all emblems and badges, descriptive or designating marks, and words or phrases the corporation adopts, including the badge of the Girl Scouts, Incorporated, referred to in the Act of August 12, 1937 (ch. 590, 50 Stat. 623), and to authorize their use, during the life of the corporation, in connection with the manufacture, advertisement, and sale of equipment and merchandise. This section does not affect any vested rights.
So, the Code (as expected) does not infringe on the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens, and (instead) solely bars the commercial exploitation of the Girl Scouts logo by third parties. In distinction, of course, my clients are simply making use of the logo as part of a news story and are not seeking any dilution of the exclusive identification of the Girl Scouts logo with the Girl Scouts organization.
Exploring intellectual property law, in an attempt to find a basis for barring the use of the Girl Scouts logo on the LifeNews website, does not result in a different outcome in my analysis about the propriety of my clients using a logo to clarify matters in news stories about the Girl Scouts. Considering trademark law, my clients have engaged in the classic form of fair use in the sense that my clients have used the Girl Scouts mark in a purely descriptive sense to describe the Girl Scouts own organization and activity. Similarly, even Mr. Crawford mentioned the Girl Scouts® logo in his letter to my client to aid his attempt at clarity. The use of a trademark is often essential to clarify knowledge about about a matter being discussed.Further, because the LifeNews articles do not cause confusion and there is no indication of sponsorship or endorsement of LifeNews by the Girl Scouts, reference to the Girl Scouts logo within the LifeNews articles is nominative fair use. My clients have only made such use of the Girl Scouts mark as is reasonably necessary to identify the Girl Scouts in the news articles. Going beyond the relatively permissive authority of law governing trademarks to an analysis of this situation under copyright laws, my clients use of the Girl Scouts logo in articles appearing on the LifeNews website still falls within fair use. As codified in 17 U.S.C. § 107, fair use of copyright material includes . . . news reporting . . . While the Girl Scouts must necessarily protect and enforce their rights to the Girl Scouts logo against the commercial damage of unauthorized uses, my clients news articles are rooted in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States that protects the right of U.S. citizens to communicate and discuss vital concerns in a free republic, and the news articles fall within fair use.
The pro-life movement has been concerned for a number of years about the ties between the Girl Scouts and the Planned Parenthood abortion business. Although the Girl Scout organization maintains that it takes no position on the issue of abortion, parents, churches, and pro-life activists have long complained of the pro-abortion slant of the Girl Scouts resources, role models, and affiliations.
The links between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood are longstanding, with a Girl Scouts CEO and individual troops admitting as much.
The ties between the two groups have been questioned ever since former Girl Scouts CEO Kathy Cloninger admitted on NBCs The Today Show: We partner with many organizations. We have relationships with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country. See the video here.
Then, in a national survey, seventeen Girl Scouts councils admit to partnering with Planned Parenthood; many other councils refuse to answer the survey question. Of the 315 Girl Scout councils in the U.S., 17 councils reported having a relationship with Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, and 49 reported they do not or 25% of all Girl Scout troops responding to the survey. The other 249 refused to disclose any possible relationship.
In 2010-2011 Girls Scouts in New York partnered with Planned Parenthood for a sex-ed program, Real Life. Real Talk. The program website touts their partners (link has since been removed): Real Life. Real Talk. is proud to count the following organizations, faith communities and companies as partners: Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways.
In June 2013, the Girl Scouts promoted a video honoring abortion activists and having pro-abortion advocate Amy Richards as their guest speaker. Because the MAKERS narrative is so unabashedly pro-abortion, it strips away all pretense that the Girl Scouts USA is neutral on the issue of abortion.
The Girl Scouts have been criticized for their involvement in the May, 2013 Women Deliver Conference, an international event that included safe and legal abortion among its overarching themes. It documents its role in the planning and facilitating of the December, 2012 Bali Global Youth Forum and the outcome declaration, which demands youth access to abortion.
For fourteen years, the Girls Scouts in Waco, TX co-sponsored a sex ed conference with Planned Parenthood. Its Perfectly Normal a book written by a Planned Parenthood executive was given to all children in attendance says abortion can be a positive experience. And in January 2012, Girl Scouts employee Renise Rodriguez wore a Pray to End Abortion t-shirt during off-duty visit to her Tucson Girl Scout office and was ordered to her to turn the shirt inside out or leave.
As LifeNews reported in 2012, the Girl Scouts joined with Planned Parenthood to head a UN conference and LifeNews reported on the investigation the Catholic Church is undertaking into the ties between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups.
The Girl Scouts have also promoted pro-abortion elected officials. Fresh on the heels of Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) sharing a recommendation for pro-abortion Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis as a 2013 Woman of the Year via their official Twitter account, the organization suggested pro-abortion HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a woman with courage, confidence, and character.
Meanwhile, the new national spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts, Kelly Parisi, is the former spokeswoman for a pro-abortion organization one founded by Gloria Steinem.
Do you hear me GSA? I am done with you!
yeah i told a couple of GS i wasnt going to buy their cookies
told them why
they said i was getting hysterical
they tried to give me a hysterectomy
I doubt Lifenews will from the Head Girl Scout anymore.
The last thing the Girl Scouts want is to be deposed
and expose them for the liars they are, thus creating more PR
nightmares and a much more effective boycott.
Girl Scouts. 0
Not for the baby.
Bingo. No more girl scout cookies for me and everyone who sells them will hear this story. Too bad, too sad, but truth is always a bystander with the left.
Are they the same thing??? NICE!
Well they do cost $4 for about 20 cookies so I don’t even need the pro- abortion connection to stop buying them...: - )
Lawyer cat-fights can be entertaining when viewed from afar.
Up close, not so much . . .
Good for LifeNews!! Rather than buying GS cookies, I think I’ll hand the adults at the cookie stand a copy of this excellent article.
I haven’t figured out a way to send the message to the adult leaders, without traumatizing the Girl Scouts with them.
So, I just give them a polite “no thank you”.
SO glad my kid was a Girl Scout Dropout.
She’s 26 now and she turned out FANTASTIC, despite her lack of involvement and slacking when it came to GS.
Glad they didn’t get their mitts on her.
I don't buy their cookies either.
I looked deeply into that organization over ten years ago, and decided it was not one I wanted to support, or allow my daughter to join.
Their agenda is entirely left wing and political, and has little to do with teaching female children life skills.
C O O K I E C O T T - - - 2 0 1 4
What's the Concern About Funding Girl Scout Councils and GSUSA?
Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) recently promoted pro-abortion politicians, Senator Wendy Davis and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, as women to be honored for their accomplishments in 2013. Many other pro-life concerns exist about the Girl Scout organization including:
o GSUSA, with over 2 million girl members, maintains relationships with many pro-abortion advocacy groups.
o Girl Scouts curriculum for girls, sold and promoted by every local Girl Scout council, recommends pro-abortion role models/organizations such as Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Geraldine Ferraro, Hillary Clinton, Amnesty International, Population Council, ACLU, National Organization For Women (NOW) and others.
o GSUSA and local Girl Scout councils connect girls to resources promoting abortion rights and inappropriate sexual content via official Girl Scout social media accounts.
o Across the country, local Girl Scout councils honor and promote abortion rights advocates and pro-abortion politicians; suggest girls work with organizations that fight for abortion on demand; and invite girls to attend events related to abortion rights advocacy and other controversial issues.
o GSUSA is the largest member organization of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), making up a third of its 10 million members worldwide and paying approximately 1.5 million dollars annually to WAGGGS based on the number of registered GSUSA members.
o WAGGGS, which states that "anyone who is a Girl Guide or Girl Scout is automatically a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts," aggressively promotes youth reproductive/abortion and sexual rights, specifically on behalf of its 10 million members.
Where Does Girl Scout Cookie Money Go?
o A girl's troop keeps an average of just 10 to 20 percent of the money she collects from selling cookies.
o The local council receives an average of 65 to 75 percent of the money collected by all local troops.
o GSUSA collects a royalty payment based upon their licensed trademark on every box of cookies produced. Consider that 200 million boxes of cookies are sold annually and the cookie licensing payments account for 5 to 7 percent of GSUSA's budget. This amounts to upwards of 5 million dollars in funding for GSUSA every year.
DOES THE GIRL SCOUT ORGANIZATION DESERVE YOUR SUPPORT?
For documentation and additional information visit: www.cookiecott.com
I havent figured out a way to send the message to the adult leaders, without traumatizing the Girl Scouts with them.
So, I just give them a polite no thank you.
I know, this is very tricky. And I have friends who have daughters in there. I wish there was a way.
I was thrown out of the GS in the early 70s. We had a camp weekend in the foothills of Fresno. It was tarantula season. I put one in a coffee can to bring home. My ride was in the troop leader’s station wagon. When we got to the drop off place, she noticed the can.She opened it. She got a bit hysterical. ahem...
I pulled my daughter out of the Brownies when they stated they were going to teach the little girls how to put on make-up for their grooming badge. I was livid. It was inappropriate for their age group.
Geez, just stop using the logo and keep writing the stories. (There probably are restrictions on the logo use, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting your point across.)
Read the whole story.
The will KEEP USING THE LOGO AND WRITING THE STORIES!!!!
They make it very clear there is no prohibition against using the LOGO in conjunction with their stories.
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