Habitat for Humanity – the nation's largest Christian ministry dedicated to housing the poor – announced that it would end its scheduled partnership with Planned Parenthood after the agreement generated media attention and criticism among Christian groups.
In a statement, Jim Sedlack of the American Life League, wrote approvingly of the decision of Habitat for Humanity to back out of the deal.
"Organizations must realize that associating themselves with Planned Parenthood – operators of the nation's largest abortion chain – will be viewed negatively by many good people in this country," he said. "Planned Parenthood is a controversial organization and that controversy will transfer to any group associated with Planned Parenthood."
In the scheduled agreement, Habitat for Humanity would have allowed the abortion provider to bypass zoning regulations in Sarasota, Fla., that restrict the opening of abortion facilities "without the presence of a multifamily liner building" with a $10 real estate transaction.
On Tuesday, the Christian ministry's board of directors of its Sarasota branch voted to "dissociate" itself from the project after the scheduled transaction became public and drew hundreds of protesting phone calls and e-mails.
Duane Bates, director of public and media relations for the national Habitat organization, explained that the organization had erred in its judgment.
"Habitat for Humanity of Sarasota has declined a donation of land from Planned Parenthood, stating that accepting the land 'would not be in the best interests of our ongoing work in the community, the families we seek to serve or the broader Habitat for Humanity community," he said, according to Cybercast News.
Dawn Vargo, bioethics analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said she was delighted that Habitat for Humanity would back out its of deal with Planned Parenthood. However, she believed the group should have known better.
"It would appear as though they have recognized that Planned Parenthood is on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to valuing human life and advocating for the needy and defenseless," she explained in a statement. "Hopefully, they will remember this in the future before aligning themselves with organizations that promote the destruction of innocent human life."
Founded in 1976 as a Christian non-profit and non-governmental organization by Millard and Linda Fuller in Americus, Ga., Habitat for Humanity has built over 200,000 homes in its cause to provide housing for the needy.