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October 25, 2005
American Girl Feels Heat Of Protest

American Girl feels heat of protest Family advocates believe anti-abortion campaign working

Posted: October 25, 2005 1:00 a.m. Eastern

2005 After launching a protest campaign, pro-family groups claim the maker of the popular American Girl dolls has begun to de-emphasize its partnership with a group that supports abortion and lesbianism.

In August, as WorldNetDaily reported, American Girl launched the "I Can" campaign with Girls Inc., urging girls to take a pledge and purchase a special bracelet.

On its website, Girls Inc. says it supports a girl's right to abort an unwanted baby and promotion of contraceptives for girls. The group also offers resources encouraging lesbian and bisexual lifestyles. One publication, "Free your mind: The book for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth and their allies," states, "The emergence of a lesbian identity is an ongoing process, rather than an event."

With every purchase of the "I Can" band, 70 cents is given to Girls Inc. in addition to American Girl's contribution of $50,000.

Ann Scheidler, director of the Pro-Life Action League in Chicago, said American Girl "must be receiving enough calls and e-mails to cause them considerable consternation."

The American Family Association also has initiated a campaign to warn parents.

Scheidler said the company, owned by Mattel, already is de-emphasizing the 'I Can' project on its website and has removed the link to Girls, Inc."

Officially, however, American Girl maintains it has no plans to discontinue its affiliation with Girls, Inc.

"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.

She called the endorsement of abortion, lesbianism and contraception for young girls a betrayal of the trust American families have place in American Girl."

"It is insidious for American Girl to manipulate girls into supporting Girls, Inc. through the 'I Can' bracelet and its promise," said Scheidler. "Most of the girls buying the bracelets have no idea what Girls, Inc. stands for."

American Girl says its contributions are earmarked for specific academic and athletic programs, but Scheidler calls that "deceptive," because it "simply frees up revenue for their reprehensible programs, such as promoting abortion."

She says, however, the "earmarking ploy does imply there are programs that American Girl is not comfortable with."

"Parents associate American Girl dolls with wholesome American family values, yet Girls Inc. contradicts parents' most basic moral beliefs," Scheidler said. "We're encouraging parents, grandparents and other family members to write and call American Girl President Ellen L. Brothers to object to the company's support for Girls Inc."