Not everyone is loving those Thin Mints.

Pro-Life Wisconsin is asking its supporters to reconsider purchasing Girl Scout cookies, saying the organization is too closely linked to the abortion rights movement.

In an email to supporters Monday, Pro-Life Wisconsin said that "while some local troops' activities may be wholesome, sadly, Girl Scouts USA promotes radically, anti-life women, such as Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, as role models, regularly partners with pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood for 'educational' activities, and encourages girls to fight for abortion on demand."

The annual six-week period of Girl Scout cookie sales kicks off this Saturday.

Pro-Life Wisconsin told its supporters that "approximately 15 percent of each box sold goes to the troop. The rest goes to the regional and national organizations of Girl Scouts USA."

That's not true, said Christy Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the Badgerland Council, a regional body that provides Girl Scouting in south-central and southwest Wisconsin. No portion of cookie proceeds goes to the national Girl Scouts organization, she said.

Of the $3.75 per-box retail price, the baker gets 99 cents, the girl who sold the box earns a 12-cent reward, and the troop keeps 60 cents to 70 cents (the amount goes up depending on overall sales volume). The rest -- about $2 -- goes to the regional council to pay for programming costs, Gibbs said.

While the organization's 112 regional councils do provide funding for the national Girl Scouts of the USA, that money comes from a portion of registration fees, Gibbs said. The cookie money is a distinct pot that does not leave the troop and regional council, she said.

Told of this, Peggy Hamill, Pro-Life Wisconsin's state director, said "our concerns still stand."

"Money is fungible," she said. "Regardless of whether it's actually the cookie money supporting the national Girl Scouts, we know that money goes from the regional councils to the national organization."

Hamill said she was a Girl Scout growing up and served as a troop leader for a time. "We recognize they do some wonderful things," she said. "Our concern is with some of the Girl Scout materials and some of the associations you're seeing."

As for the broader abortion issues, the national Girl Scouts association said in a statement that the organization "does not advocate one way or another with regard to what we perceive as private issues best handled by families. Personal matters are just that -- personal and private -- and should be addressed accordingly."

For those who want to read more, here's a story Pro-Life Wisconsin is sharing with its supporters, and here's a response from Girl Scouts of the USA.

UPDATE: Sam Guzman, communications director for Pro-Life Wisconsin, contends the national Girl Scouts organization still benefits from cookie sales because it receives licensing fees for all of the boxes sold.

You can reach reporter Doug Erickson at or 608-252-6149.

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