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Valley advocates say Kavanaugh’s accuser ‘deserves to be heard’

Depicting the television series "Handmaid's Tale" about women being treated as property, several women dressed in red and held signs in front of Sen. Jeff Flake's office on Sept. 18 to protest the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a woman accused him of sexual assault. (KTAR News/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — Advocates from Phoenix-area women’s groups want the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault to have a chance to share her story before his confirmation process continues.

“We think that she deserves to be heard,” Jodi Liggett, vice president of public affairs at Planned Parenthood Arizona. “We think that this process needs to slow down and all the facts need to come out.”

She and other members of Planned Parenthood along with other groups, including the Arizona Coalition to end Sexual and Domestic Violence, rallied outside Sen. Jeff Flake’s office in Phoenix Tuesday morning.

California physiology professor Christine Blasey Ford is accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school.

Ford came forward with the allegations over the weekend. As a result, a confirmation vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled for Thursday was delayed.

“Victims and survivors should be believed,” Liggett added. “Certainly our democracy can withstand a few more weeks while we get to the bottom of her story.”

They commended Flake for insisting senators hear from Ford before moving forward with Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. Flake has said he is not comfortable voting to confirm Kavanaugh until his accuser tells her story.

“We’re hoping that he continues to hold that line and that he continues to stand up for victims of sexual assault,” said Tayler Tucker, media relations specialist for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona.

Both Kavanaugh and Ford have been invited to testify in a public hearing next Monday. Ford has not yet agreed to testify.

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