The "dream" dies in more ways than one

Senate deals a "crushing blow" to civil rights -- and the King family legacy.

Published January 31, 2006 5:27PM (EST)

This just over the apocalypse wire from our friends at Planned Parenthood: "Today the U.S. Senate voted 58 to 42 to confirm Judge Samuel Alito as Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement on the U.S. Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) vigorously opposed Alito's nomination to the high court because of his long record of hostility toward women's rights and privacy rights and because he refused to signal any change from this record during his confirmation hearings."

Karen Pearl, interim president of PPFA, issued the following statement: "Today's vote is a crushing blow to the protections for women's health and safety that American women and families have relied on for more than 33 years. We applaud those senators who held fast to their principles and voted against Alito's nomination. However, the American public should be outraged that a majority of the Senate was willing to jeopardize our basic reproductive rights by voting for Judge Alito. Fair-minded Americans will remember this vote when their rights are taken away."

Thanks for nothing, Olympia Snowe.

Arlen Specter and the aisle-crossing Dems? The flimsy, slapdash opposition? Don't get me started.

Props, though, to Lincoln Chafee, the only Republican still allowed to call himself "pro-choice." (Full roll-call fun here.)

Now remember, Roe v. Wade -- to cite only one element of the global-domination plan in which Alito is a key player -- is already meaningless for millions of women. But that doesn't mean things can't get even worse. Planned Parenthood adds: "Alito will soon have the opportunity to rule on cases involving women's health and safety. The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to announce shortly whether it will hear Carhart v. Gonzales, a challenge to the Bush administration's federal abortion ban. The ban, passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2003, would outlaw abortions as early as 12 to 15 weeks in pregnancy that doctors say are the safest and best to protect women's health. Just five years ago, the Supreme Court struck down an abortion ban passed by the state of Nebraska because it did not have a health exception, and Justice O'Connor's was the critical fifth vote that upheld protections for women's health and safety. Planned Parenthood has every reason to believe that Judge Alito will swing the court in the opposite direction, becoming the fifth vote to undermine protections for women's health and safety, the core issue in Carhart v. Gonzales and all the abortion ban cases."

In one of her first speeches after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death in 1968, the late Coretta Scott King called on American women "to unite and form a solid block of women power to fight the three great evils of racism, poverty and war." Well, let's get to it.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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