by Steven Ertelt
October 14, 2005
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — A company that manufactures a popular series of dolls defended its partnership with an organization for girls that advocates abortion. American Girl says the partnership was not meant to promote abortion but to help girls develop self-confidence and scholastic schools, which partner Girls Inc. also promotes.
American Girl has come under fire from pro-life organizations, including the American Family Association, which discovered the link between the two groups.
American Girl, a subsidiary of Mattel Inc., is selling bracelets with the message "I Can," which are made by and sponsored by Girls Inc. The company also promotes the pro-abortion group on its web site.
In a statement given to the Associated Press, American Girl says the campaign is only meant to build skills in science and math, help girls develop leadership skills, and to encourage athletic and team spirit.
"All of these aims are appropriate to our 7- to 12-year-old American Girl fans," the company said. "The American Girl brand exemplifies the values of wholesomeness and responsibility that we would expect any organization to commend."
But Girl’s Inc. falls short of that goal by advocating abortion. On its web site is specifically says it supports the right of teens to have abortions and adds that it backs the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized them.
Joyce Roche, the president of Girls Inc., told AP her group had never been a victim of a boycott, like the one AFA is promoting.
"We were taken aback," she said in a telephone interview with AP Friday. "Our programs are well-respected. We’re all about helping girls see possibilities and dream big dreams."
About its abortion advocacy, Roche told the Associated Press, "Our philosophy is that women should have the right to make decisions about themselves."
"Girl’s Incorporated supports a woman’s freedom of choice, a constitutional right established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe vs. Wade," the group says on its web site.
AFA says American Girl is making a "terrible mistake" by supporting Girls Inc., especially because the company has long been favored with pro-life advocates because of its dolls, which celebrate American heritage and traditional values.
"Please send them an email expressing your disappointment and let American Girl president Ellen Brothers know the company’s decision casts a great shadow over their trustworthiness to put the welfare of girls and children first," AFA said in an email to its supporters.
Seventy cents of every purchase of the bracelets goes to Girls Inc. In addition, American Girl is giving the group $50,000 on top of the proceeds from the sales of the bracelets.
ACTION: You can express your views about the joint venture between American Girl dolls and Girls Inc. by going to https://www.afa.net/Activism/TakeAction.asp?id=179. You can also contact: Ellen L. Brothers, President, American Girl, 8400 Fairway Place, Middleton, WI 53562, Tel: 1-800-845-0005, Fax: 608-828-4790.