Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pro-Life Organization Stops House Building for Habitat for Humanity

As much as the right touts their unbridled dedication to family values, pro-life groups are certainly abandoning those principles over a land deal. Nice work, right-wingers.

Planned Parenthood has offered to sell land to Habitat for Humanity for TEN DOLLARS. The donation from Planned Parenthood went to help Habitat for Humanity build three below-the-market-cost houses next to the new Planned Parenthood in Sarasota, Florida. Director of the Planned Parenthood offices in Sarasota, Barbara Zdravecky, said, “We wanted to donate the land so that Habitat for Humanity can build more attainable housing.”

Just one month before the deal was officially closed, pro-life group American Life League sent 10,000 e-mails to donators and supporters of Habitat Humanity informing them of the deal with Planned Parenthood. Many Habitat for Humanity donors and supporters complained about the upcoming land purchase—the deal was called off.

Director of Habitat for Humanity in Sarasota Tony Souza said, “It was pressure from donors—and not a philosophical stance—that caused Habitat for Humanity to end the project.” Many donors threatened to back out if Habitat for Humanity accepted the land from Planned Parenthood. Once donors started backing out, board members had no choice but to abide by their donors’ wishes. Since Habitat for Humanity is out of a 3 house project, I think their donors need to step up and make up for the cheap land they just lost.

Vice president of the American Life League, James Sedlak sent out emails to Habitat for Humanity supporters and organized protests in front of Planned Parenthood locations in the Sarasota area. I hope that Sedlak is proud of his compassionate work to prevent access to affordable housing. They have succeeded in making it harder for Habitat for Humanity to find affordable land. For those who may not know, Habitat for Humanity organization in Sarasota is struggling financially. The director has lamented the lack of affordable land and complained about seemingly endless tax problems. This is a prime example of how the pro-life movement cares more about fetuses than actual people. The American Life League’s goal to protect the lives of the “unborn” across the nation has severely impaired their ability to capture the complete picture. In stopping Habitat for Humanity from building houses, the American Life League has, in effect, denied low-income families affordable housing in the process. The American Life League needs to sit down and think about whether or not they are protecting children and families, or if they are endangering them. Instead of supposedly helping families, their actions show that they care more about furthering their political agenda than fulfilling their so-called mission, which is to “help.” This sounds a little similar to the volunteers who devote their time to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). Volunteers at CPCs are so focused on promoting an anti-abortion agenda that they often fail to deliver information on adoption and parenting.
Now that the American Life League has prevented the construction of these homes, how and where do they expect Habitat for Humanity to build houses and find generous land donations like the one from Planned Parenthood? Barbara Zdravecky says, “They [Planned Parenthood] will not have trouble finding someone else to build on the land, however the effect is fewer people will have attainable housing in Sarasota.” Is the American Life League willing to donate land to Habitat Humanity? I sure hope so since they managed to contact 10,000 Habitat for Humanity supporters. They have something…right?

In addition to keeping three families without a roof, the American Life League has recently attacked birth control. Does it seem like the American Life League’s “pro-family” actions are less protective and more destructive?



Kathleen said...

Hearing about these types of things truly makes me sad.
I strongly believe that the actions of the Habitat for Humanity donors who did not want Habitat for Humanity to purchase the land next to Planned Parenthood were unacceptable, shameful, and even childish as the donors are more interested in pushing their own political agenda than helping people in need. I think that these people who supposedly believe in helping others should at least find alternative land for the families that were denied a chance for a home.
Was this land not habitable? Would living adjacent to Planned Parenthood spread the "pro-choice disease"?

However, in regards to this article, I think it's important to address the term "nice work, right-wingers" which is used at the beginning of this article. It's connotation is quite bitter and seems to generalize that all conservatives would support the campaign against the land next to Planned Parenthood. This really isn't fair because I am sure that there are many people of all political persuasions would not agree with these Habitat for Humanity donors.
It's imperative that we remember that the fight for choice is NOT a fight against conservatives. There are many Republicans, including President Gerald Ford, that are pro-choice.

Anonymous said...

It's blatantly obvious the writer of this blog knows nothing of the work done in CPCs.