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Girl Scouts deny trying to intimidate pro-life website over use of logo

 

The editor of a pro-life website is accusing the Girl Scouts of “intimidation” after the organization sent him a letter demanding its logo be removed from stories tying the Girl Scouts to Planned Parenthood.

However, a spokeswoman for the Girl Scouts, which just began its famous cookie-selling season, dismisses the accusation the organization targeted the website over its reporting, saying it was simply trying to protect its brand.

On Monday, Steven Ertelt, the editor of LifeNews.com, posted the letter he received from Girl Scouts Chief Licensing Executive Eric Crawford to the website. In it, Crawford denies LifeNews.com’s allegation the organization has ties to or a relationship with Planned Parenthood, and demands the website immediately cease its use of the Girl Scouts logo, which was included in some of their stories.

The website’s attorney responded to the Girl Scouts in a letter dated Feb. 14, arguing fair use.

“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,” Chris Ingold said.

The Girl Scouts organization has not yet responded to Ingold’s letter, according to Ertelt.

Ertelt tells FoxNews.com he believes his website is being targeted because of its reporting, which among other things has claimed Girl Scouts officials have said in the past the Girl Scout organization has a relationship with Planned Parenthood nationally.

“The Girl Scouts are pushing Planned Parenthood’s abortion and sexual agenda on young girls and promoting abortion activists as role models for them.” Ertelt said.

However, Girl Scouts spokeswoman Kelly Parisi denied Ertelt’s claims, telling FoxNews.com the organization did not threaten Ertelt and is simply exerting its legal right to protect its brand.

“Our brand is very important, important enough to us that we want to protect it,” Kelly Parisi said.

Parisi also said the Girl Scouts have never had and do not ever plan to have a relationship with Planned Parenthood, and that it is a non-partisan, non-political organization.

“We believe that family issues are just that, family issues, and are best left within the family,” she said.

LifeNews.com is not the only pro-life website the Girl Scouts has requested to remove its logo. Former Girl Scouts mom Ann Saladin says she was also asked to take the logo off of a flier posted on her small website MyGirlScoutCouncil.com,, which highlights Girl Scouts curriculum that contrasts with pro-life views.

However, Saladin says she did not feel threatened by the Girl Scouts’ request, and that she has no problem removing the logo from her materials as long as her message gets across.

“The logo was a very minor point to the concerns that were being shared,” Saladin said.

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