American Girl Plays Down Ties to Pro-Abortion Group After Criticism

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 24, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

American Girl Plays Down Ties to Pro-Abortion Group After Criticism Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 24, 2005

New York, NY ( — American Girl, the makers of a popular line of children’s dolls, has lowered the profile of its partnership with a pro-abortion group following national criticism. A pro-life organization that has helped lead opposition says the company is removing some of its links to Girls Inc., a group that helps girls with self-esteem and scholastic issues but also backs abortion.

"American Girl, maker of American Girl Dolls, must be receiving enough calls and emails to cause them considerable consternation," says Ann Scheidler, director of the Pro-Life Action League.

Scheidler says American Girl is already "de-emphasizing" the "I Can" bracelets they’re selling in conjunction with Girls Inc.

While official statements from the doll manufacturer say they’re not going to discontinue the project, which has proceeds from the sale of the bracelets go to the pro-abortion group, Scheidler says it appears they’re trying to play down its importance.

Meanwhile, Scheidler adds that her group will call for a national boycott if American Girl doesn’t officially end the partnership.

"If there is no announcement by American Girl that they have severed their relationship with Girls, Inc. by the end of October, the Pro-Life Action League will call for a national boycott of American Girl products and will organize demonstrations at the American Girl Place in Chicago and New York," said Scheidler.

Scheidler indicated a national boycott at the start of the Christmas season would be a financial loss for American Girl.

American Girl, a subsidiary of Mattel Inc., 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 about her groups’ stance in favor of abortion: "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.

Scheidler says her group will continue to monitor the situation.

"From both a marketing and a moral perspective American Girl should cut its ties with Girls, Inc. and restore public confidence in the company and its stated mission to ‘educate and entertain girls with high-quality products and experiences that reinforce positive social and moral values,’" Scheidler said.