by Steven Ertelt
November 1, 2005
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — A pro-life organization is calling for a national boycott of the American Girl doll company because it has not ended its partnership with Girls Inc., an organization for girls that backs abortion.
"American Girl has refused to sever ties with pro-abortion Girls Incorporated," said Ann Scheidler, director of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League, "This leaves us no choice but to call for a boycott of American Girl dolls and accessories for the duration of the 2005 Christmas shopping season."
American Girl launched a joint project in August with Girls Inc. to sell bracelets with the message "I Can." Sponsored by the girls group, proceeds from the bracelets were meant to fund efforts to help girls with self-esteem and scholastic issues.
However, the American Family Association brought to light statements on Girls Inc.’s web site saying it backs abortion and supports the Roe v. Wade decision that ushered in an era of more than 44 million abortions.
Both pro-life groups called on the American Girl doll company, a subsidiary of Mattel Inc., to end its affiliation by November 1 or be faced with a national boycott. Though American Girl has played down its ties by not promoting the bracelets as heavily, Scheidler says the partnership continues.
"We are asking people who care about little girls, and about the value of human life, to refrain from purchasing products and visiting American Girl Place during the entire Christmas shopping season," Scheidler said.
"As consumers, we have both the freedom and the responsibility to spending our gift dollars in a manner consistent with our values," she added.
In a statement given to the Associated Press last month, 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."
Joyce Roche, the president of Girls Inc., told AP her group had never been a victim of a boycott.
"We were taken aback," she said in a telephone interview last month about the initial criticism. "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.
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.