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Indiana lawmaker slams 'radicalized' pro-abortion group. Yes, Girl Scouts.

Bob Morris, a member of the Indiana House, also called the Girl Scouts 'a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood' in a letter urging lawmakers not to mark the Girl Scouts' 100th anniversary. 

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At the end of the session, he brushed off the controversy, saying “I’ve been to the carnival before, and you don’t walk into every sideshow tent.”

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Bosma would not confirm if he met privately with Morris. No other Republican representative expressed support for the letter.

The Morris letter gave Indiana lawmakers in both parties a topic they could both rally around – a rare moment in a year of heated partisan debate over a right-to-work bill involving union contracts.

Senate Democratic leader Vi Simpson joined Bosma in handing out cookies, while House Democrats passed around photos of former President Ronald Reagan surrounded by Girl Scouts.

Deborah Hearn Smith, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana in Indianapolis, says the connection between Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood alleged by Morris is “inaccurate.”

“It does not reflect who we are and what we stand for,” Ms. Smith says. She adds that all children are welcome to join the organization regardless of sexual identity and that it does not have an agenda regarding human sexuality, contraception, or abortion rights.

“What he talked about, we would not talk about with girls,” she says.

The state’s chapter of Planned Parenthood also responded to the letter. Betty Cockrum, president and CEO, issued a statement saying the organization “currently has no formal partnership” with the Girl Scouts.

Ms. Cockrum frames the Morris letter as part of a national trend of “inflammatory and generally inaccurate claims” that “have been promoted primarily by anti-choice lawmakers seeking to place pressure on organizations to disassociate or distance themselves from” her organization.

Morris wrote in his letter he is pulling his two daughters out of the Girl Scouts and enrolling them in American Heritage Girls, a conservative organization based in Cincinnati that describes itself on its website as “the premier national character development organization for young women that encourages family involvement and embraces Christian Values.”

Morris refused to talk with reporters Tuesday at the statehouse in Indianapolis other than to say he was “focusing on the rest of the session.”

According to Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, there are about 90,000 Girl Scout members in the state and about 2.3 million nationwide. The national organization celebrates its 100th anniversary on March 12.

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