WTF, Laurie Roberts?


Crossposted from

laurie roberts

I had long suspected that Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts’ focus on child abuse in her columns is little more than self-serving preening but her latest piece removed all doubt.

Last week, Democrat Fred DuVal told members of a Gilbert church that he believes your 14-year-old daughter should be able to get an abortion without first getting your consent.

DuVal’s comments – to me, at least – were stunning and the most stunning part of the story?

It wasn’t news.

DuVal was appearing at the Redemption Church in Gilbert where Pastor Tom Shrader asked him a series of questions, including this one on the rights of parents when it comes to their teen-age daughters and abortion.

If one were a true champion of abused children, as Roberts claims to be, then it should not be a shock that someone would oppose requiring parental notification and consent for abortion. It should be bleedingly obvious to Laurie Roberts, of all people, why that would be. Yet it isn’t. And Laurie has so many questions!

On Tuesday, I tried to talk with DuVal to clarify. Does he really believe that 14 year olds should be able to get abortions without a parent’s consent?…

…So, DuVal wouldn’t try to change existing law but he doesn’t believe that parents have the right to know that their young daughters are contemplating abortion?…

…On Tuesday, I asked several political editors why. The answers were varied, mostly that they were swamped with the gay-marriage story late last week and that it didn’t seem particularly newsworthy that a pro-choice candidate would oppose parental consent…

…But I wonder if the same editorial decision would have been made had it been Ducey saying that he opposed the state’s opt-out provision – the one that exists for girls who face the very-real threat of a beating if they tell mommy and daddy they want an abortion.

My guess is we’d cover that Ducey story. The fact that we didn’t cover the DuVal story?

I hope I’m wrong, but I’m wondering, does it say more about us than about him?

Man, that’s some weapons-grade pearl clutching there, and not a whole lot of interest in the well-being of the pregnant, scared teens themselves. Maybe Roberts is only interested in babies and small children who are abused. Once they’ve hit puberty and are sexually active, they have it coming I guess? Roberts does finally mention abuse at the end of her piece, using some rather disturbing phrasing – “…girls who face the very-real threat of a beating if they tell mommy and daddy they want an abortion.” Very few teenagers call their parents “mommy and daddy” so I don’t even know what that’s about. Oh, and why might it be covered differently if Ducey publicly opposed allowing girls who fear violence from their families to opt out of the notification/consent requirement? Because that is a monstrous position. I mean, damn, Laurie.

I imagine that it has simply never occurred to Laurie Roberts that the notion of children being the property of parents, which Arizona’s parental consent for abortion law is firmly rooted in, is a major contributing factor to the scourge of child abuse. Incidentally, here is the rationale Americans United for Life, which provides the model anti-choice legislation for the whole country, gives for requiring parental notification for a minor’s abortion:

The [Legislature]’s purposes in enacting this parental notice law are to further the
important and compelling State interests of:
(1) Protecting minors against their own immaturity.
(2) Fostering family unity and preserving the family as a viable social unit.
(3) Protecting the constitutional rights of parents to rear children who are members of
their household.
(4) Reducing teenage pregnancy and abortion.
(5) In light of the foregoing statements of purpose, allowing for judicial bypasses of
parental notification to be made only in exceptional or rare circumstances.

Only no. 1 directly relates to the minors and no. 4 is flat out absurd. Numbers 2, 3, and 5 err heavily on the side of parents and against abused teens.


  1. It’s a gotcha. Don’t buy into it.
    How about the abused children, ignored by our legislature, depicted on the Yes on Prop 122 flyer. That is as shameful as it comes, and I still cannot figure out how the legislative failure applies to state sovereignty.

  2. I received this from Leah at 6:40 P.M. Today please pass it along. Thanks be
    I wanted to send you a personal note given Fred’s visit to Redemption Church last week and the recent attack against Fred on the issue of parental consent for minors. As you know, Fred does supports a women’s right to choose, however, Fred didn’t clearly state his position on parental consent which is highly regrettable.
    Here are the facts about where Fred stands:
    Fred supports Arizona’s law requiring parental consent for a minor seeking an abortion, as long as there is an opportunity for a judicial bypass for girls in dangerous or abusive situations. As Governor, he would not attempt to overturn that law.

    In an ideal world, young girls would not find themselves in this terrible situation. In an ideal world every girl would have a loving and supportive parent to help guide her in these trying moments.

    Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world, and this issue is complicated. There are cases such as incest or abuse when a parent is not the best person to help their daughter navigate this extremely difficult time.

    Arizona is one of several states with a ‘judicial bypass option” where a judge and a guardian can safeguard girls and protect their rights. Fred fully supports this law – the safety of Arizona’s children is too important to be left in the hands of people looking to abuse and exploit our kids.

    No young girl should be left alone in this terrible and life-altering moment, but we must have safeguards to assure that the adult involved is truly focused on the well-being of the child.

    Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions, concerns on clarifications on this information. I know that you are on the front-lines of our GOP outreach and I’m sure that this issue hasn’t been fun to hear about and deal with today. For that, I am extremely sorry.

    Please feel free to forward this email, send out your own version, use it on Facebook or in any other way that will help clarify this issue with supporters or with folks from your network who are still undecided in this election.
    Let’s finish strong. Thank you for your support and your energy.
    Onward to victory,
    Leah Gillespie
    Dep. Campaign Manager
    DuVal for Governor Campaign
    Cell: (617) 850-5126

    • DuVal says he “supports Arizona’s law requiring parental consent for a minor seeking an abortion, as long as there is an opportunity for a judicial bypass for girls in dangerous or abusive situations. As Governor, he would not attempt to overturn [the current existing] law.”

      So DuVal says he will follow the current existing law. This is why it is not newsworthy.

      Laurie Roberts is attempting to manufacture a faux controversy where one does not exist.

      Now Cathi Herrod, who is Doug Ducey’s campaign adviser, would like nothing better than to eliminate the judicial bypass provision, and to outlaw abortion in all cases, but that is a “controversial” extremist position that even many Republicans do not support.

      Laurie Roberts’ faux controversy is an attempt to divert attention from the extremists with whom Doug Ducey surrounds himself.

  3. I confess, I’m also puzzled how this is really newsworthy. DuVal isn’t saying anything unexpected and it is not expected that there will be any change in the current requirements for minors seeking an abortion.

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