Tarry for the Nonce

November 4, 2005

My Hot-Button Issue

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 10:34 am

As much as I love my Felicity Doll . . . and as much as I enjoyed working for Pleasant Company before it became the pawn of Mattel, I announce with sadness that I am compelled to expand my American Girl collection no more:

Family advocates are warning parents that the popular American Girl doll maker, owned by Mattel, is partnering with a group that supports abortion.

The group is Girls, Inc.. The group states directly on their website that they support abortion:

We recognize the right of all women to choose whether, when, and under what circumstances to bear children.

So far, I agree. I think women should choose whether, when and under what circumstances to bear children, but then the site goes on to say:

. . . Girls Incorporated supports a woman’s freedom of choice, a constitutional right established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe vs. Wade.

And here we part ways. In fact, I truly object to the false association that this statement attempts to employ. The current social understanding of the “pro-choice” position actually has nothing to do with the choice to bear a child, but rather the choice to legally eliminate a child. Strictly speaking, the “choice to bear a child” applies up to the point that a woman is bearing the child. After this point, the choice has been made and the child is being borne. The real issue at hand is the “choice to stop bearing the child,” which I would argue is something entirely different, but the language is far less sympathetic to the cause.

So today is my (approximately) quarterly expression of my distaste for this political issue. Flame away.

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11 Comments

  1. Before you trash your American Girl doll collection, consider:

    What is the extent of the connection between American Girl dolls and Girls, Inc?

    How prominent is the abortion issue with respect to the work of Girls, Inc?

    I’m not interested in defending either American Girls or Girls, Inc., but, from what I’ve seen, the justification for the boycott is kind of weak. But, it is certainly your money to do with as you choose!

    Comment by Troy — November 4, 2005 @ 11:48 am

  2. What is the extent of the connection between American Girl dolls and Girls, Inc?

    They launched a joint venture to sell $1.00 bracelets through the American Girls website, $0.70 of which goes to support Girls, Inc.

    How prominent is the abortion issue with respect to the work of Girls, Inc?

    Hmm . . . existent and therefore prominent enough. I would, for example, never support Obama primarily because his support of partial-birth abortion disgusts me (along with all his other liberal absurdities.)

    Comment by laura — November 4, 2005 @ 2:09 pm

  3. So the primary stand of Girls Inc is that they respect a woman’s right to choose when she’s ready to do something as critical as raise a child? Or is that just an ancillary stand in a general stand of women empowerment?

    Last I heard, these “so-called” moralists were against Girl’s Inc because they focused on things like careers and sports instead

    On another note. . .we can terminate a clump of cells or society can bear the burden of what happens when an unwanted child is born. This is the very same group that squeals when they feel their taxes are too high to support single mother welfare programs, inner city schools, police, and jails.

    Is it me or do I see “it’s a child, not choice” almost always on the bumpers of cars driven either by men or women past child-bearing age?

    Comment by Howard — November 6, 2005 @ 7:04 pm

  4. So the primary stand of Girls Inc is that they respect a woman’s right to choose when she’s ready to do something as critical as raise a child?

    Correct, but they expand it to include support for abortion.

    Last I heard, these “so-called” moralists were against Girl’s Inc because they focused on things like careers and sports instead.

    LOL. That sounds like the type of reactionary statement one would hear over a NOW water cooler. The official statement claimed that Girls, Inc. supports abortion, contraception, lesbianism and sexualizing pre-pubescent girls. I only checked out the organization’s published statement on abortion.

    This is the very same group that squeals when they feel their taxes are too high to support single mother welfare programs, inner city schools, police, and jails.

    In many cases, you are correct, but I think the issues are disparate enough to be considered individually. In fact, the only viable connection I see is that American individualism tends to couple itself with a sense of objective morality. I’m certain, for example, that the Democrats for Life would object to your compartmentalization.

    I actually heard a pro-life argument the other night claming that the reason social programs encounter such political opposition is that life is not respected from its genesis. (Personally, I would disagree inasmuch as I think everyone wants to see people take care of one another, but disagree about the level of government involvement.) However, I certainly understand the reasoning and I am pleased that individuals across the political spectrum can work together on this fundamental issue.

    Is it me or do I see “it’s a child, not choice” almost always on the bumpers of cars driven either by men or women past child-bearing age?

    Well, if I considered the bumper of my car to be the most effective place to voice political protest, I would most certainly have one on mine. And – last I checked – I’m still of child-bearing age.

    I suppose I didn’t say what I was trying to say clearly enough. I too support a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have a child. However, I consider the choice to have been made once the child is conceived. After that, the child exists. I was trying to express the opinion that the legality of abortion in this country has nothing to do with the a woman’s reproductive rights, but with the right to classify “lesser” human beings with a life right at the mercy of another’s convenience.

    Comment by laura — November 7, 2005 @ 3:20 pm

  5. If you believe the life begins when the egg is fertilized, not when there is some reasonable belief that the creature is self-aware, I’m afraid we’re going to able to have a real long conversation on this. I don’t believe in the supernatural so we may be working from vastly different points of view.

    If by “sexualizing pre-pubescent girls” you mean empowering them with health and sexual information, well, I can’t imagine ignorance to be the preferable choice. But that’s me.

    Next thing you know, they’ll be trying to give women the vote.

    Comment by Howard — November 8, 2005 @ 5:45 pm

  6. I don’t believe in the supernatural so we may be working from vastly different points of view.

    I don’t think a belief in the supernatural is necessary. I can argue the point from the position that the fetus is genetically identifiable as a unique human organism.

    If by “sexualizing pre-pubescent girls” you mean . . .

    Whoa. Whoa. I didn’t say I meant anything. You suggested that the boycott was promoted by people who disagreed with women having career options. I merely paraphrased their actual objections. I only addressed the groups’ stance on abortion.

    Next thing you know, they’ll be trying to give women the vote.

    LOL. That’s a straw man, if ever I heard one. 🙂

    Comment by laura — November 9, 2005 @ 12:23 am

  7. I don’t think a belief in the supernatural is necessary. I can argue the point from the position that the fetus is genetically identifiable as a unique human organism.

    Harking back to Terry Schiavo, it’s interesting the more religious you are, the less brain activity you need to be considered a “life.” Doesn’t being self-aware figure into this at all?

    Whoa. Whoa. I didn’t say I meant anything.

    OK, so you’re boycotting American Girls because they’re supporting Girls, Inc., who, as one of their many stands towards empowering girls to become women, doesn’t oppose abortion?

    And to think some people oppose the so-called left because they think they’re intolerant.

    Comment by Howard — November 13, 2005 @ 10:57 am

  8. Doesn’t being self-aware figure into this at all?

    That argument is even more subjective. Who is going to make the determination whether or not a human being is self-aware? You? Me? The government? I prefer to work with the objective definition that a genetically separate individual exists. That way, there is no room to err on the wrong side of an individual’s right to life.

    OK, so you’re boycotting American Girls because they’re supporting Girls, Inc., who, as one of their many stands towards empowering girls to become women, doesn’t oppose abortion?

    No, I am boycotting American Girls for their Girls, Inc. support because they actively support abortion.

    For the same reason, I don’t give money to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Girl Scouts, the YWCA, the American Red Cross (all of whom contribute to Planned Parenthood) or UNICEF. While I understand that all these groups support worthy causes, they also support an organization that I will not support. It’s occasionally inconvenient to try and figure out exactly where my money is going, but it’s worthwhile. The plenitude of needy charities who don’t keep abortionists in business are the recipients of my charitable largess.

    Comment by laura — November 13, 2005 @ 7:28 pm

  9. Maybe I am a little off the subject here (or maybe a lot), but I think girls should be able to do with their dolls whatever they want to. It is their choice, after all it is their dolls! Government should not have anything to say about whether or not little girls have their dolls get pregnant and have abortions. If a girl wants to imagine her doll being pregnant and then imagine an abortion for the doll, well by golly, she has the right. The girl even has the right to give her doll the symptoms of a pregnant woman and the symptoms of a woman who has suffered an abortion. But golly, this comment isn’t even funny (like I wanted it)it is sick … but not as sick as real life abortion.

    Comment by Brian — November 19, 2005 @ 6:34 pm

  10. When you say “actively supporting” do you really mean “not opposing”?

    Comment by Howard — November 24, 2005 @ 10:14 am

  11. When you say “actively supporting” do you really mean “not opposing”?

    Er, no. I really do mean “actively supporting,” as stated (and even clarified) on their web site:

    Girls Incorporated supports a woman’s freedom of choice, a constitutional right established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe vs. Wade.

    Comment by laura — November 25, 2005 @ 10:08 am


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