The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are lobbying in multiple states against legislation that could expose the group to lawsuits over old child abuse cases, according to a report in The Washington Post.
The group has employed lobbyists in Georgia, Michigan and New York, according to the Post, to work on stalling "lookback" windows that would allow adults to sue over old abuse claims.
The idea behind legislation allowing the windows is to give people who suffered past abuse a chance to bring cases if they missed their initial chance.
The Boy Scouts have admitted to serious financial losses over abuse case settlements, and the organization has faced dozens of such cases in recent years.
A spokesperson for the group said such windows would open them to legal challenges that would be difficult to defend against with cold evidence and unavailable witnesses.
Since 2008, the organization has reportedly faced over 200 federal lawsuits, including many that claim abuse of young scouts by adults.
BSA Director of National Communications Effie Delimarkos told the Post that the organization has taken action to prevent abuse and offer resources to abuse victims, including screening for troop leaders and counseling resources.
While facing public scrutiny over allegations of child sex abuse, the group is also suffering a serious decline in membership. In an effort to raise its numbers and be more inclusive, the group announced last week that it will now admit girls for the first time in its 108-year history, and change the name of its scouting group to the gender-neutral "Scouts BSA" in 2019.