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Laura Bassett
Laura Bassett is a political reporter at The Huffington Post focusing on women's issues. She has a Master's degree in English Literature and gender studies from Georgetown University and has previously worked for U.S. Congress, Island Press and the Washington Post. She can be reached at or on Twitter @lebassett.

Entries by Laura Bassett

Virginia Health Commissioner Decides To Change Harsh Abortion Clinic Regulations

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 4:34 PM

Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Marissa Levine announced her decision on Wednesday that the state's tough restrictions on abortion clinics should be amended, in the latest development in an ongoing battle over abortion access.

The regulations require abortion clinics to have the same physical building standards as newly constructed hospitals, including...

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Scott Brown: Birth Control and Equal Pay Are Not 'Issues That People Care About'

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 3:03 PM

New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown avoided talking about his record on reproductive rights and equal pay in a Tuesday appearance on Fox News by suggesting that nobody cares about those issues.

Fox News host Gretchen Carlson asked Brown to address comments from his opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.),...

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States With More Abortion Laws Have Less Support For Women And Children's Health: Report

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2014 | 9:49 AM

The states with the highest number of abortion restrictions also have the fewest policies in place to support women and children's health and well-being, according to a new report released Wednesday by reproductive rights groups.

The study, conducted by Ibis Reproductive Health and the Center for Reproductive...

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Senate Candidate Runs From Personhood Bill She Supported

(183) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 4:29 PM

A Republican Senate candidate in Iowa on Sunday night defended her vote for a fetal personhood amendment, claiming the legislation would not actually have done anything.

Iowa State Sen. Joni Ernst (R) said in a debate with U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) that the personhood...

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NARAL Campaign Hits Abortion-'Obsessed' GOP Governors

(80) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 8:04 AM

The lobbying group NARAL Pro-Choice America launched a six-figure mail campaign on Monday targeting three Republican governors for their anti-abortion records.

The campaign materials portray Govs. Scott Walker (R-Wis.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) as being "obsessed with outlawing abortion" instead...

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Fifth Planned Parenthood Clinic Closes In Wisconsin

(115) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 10:43 AM

A fifth Planned Parenthood health center closed in Wisconsin on Thursday due to state budget cuts that directed family planning money away from the provider.

The Fond du Lac clinic did not provide abortion services. It offered birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, pregnancy tests, annual exams...

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GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Calls Female Reporter 'Sweetheart,' Interrupts Her

(57) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 12:57 PM

Charlie Baker, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts, called a female reporter "sweetheart" while dismissing her question about domestic violence in the NFL, Blue Mass Group reported on Wednesday.

The reporter, Fox 25's Sharman Sacchetti, had asked Baker at a "Women for Charlie" event last week whether...

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Cop Advises Women On How To Stay Safe During Police Stops (UPDATE)

(1439) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 6:03 PM

UPDATE 9/26/14: Brown says he was referring to the general safety of women during traffic stops, and not the sexual misconduct of officers in Oklahoma, when he made the comment that people should avoid getting pulled over the first place. He did not mention the word "rape" in his interview....

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New Hampshire GOP Adopts Fetal 'Personhood' Into Platform

(352) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 10:16 PM

The New Hampshire Republican Party toughened its stance on abortion over the weekend, adding support for fetal "personhood" rights into its official party platform.

The party adopted new language at its annual convention on Saturday that pledges to "support pre-born child’s fundamental right to life and personhood under the...

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Paycheck Fairness Act Blocked Again By Senate GOP

(2344) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 6:00 PM

Senate Republicans on Monday blocked for the fourth time a bill that would strengthen federal equal pay laws for women.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would ban employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with each other, impose harsher penalties for pay discrimination and require employers to be...

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Kirsten Gillibrand: I Couldn't Tell My Harasser 'To Go F*** Himself'

(173) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 2:06 PM

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said Monday that when a male labor leader harassed her about her weight several years ago after she'd had a baby, she had a few choice words she couldn't say at the time.

"I've just had a baby, I've just been appointed [to replace Hillary...

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Planned Parenthood Ad Hits GOP Candidates On OTC Birth Control

(412) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 12:18 PM

In its first TV ad buy of the 2014 cycle, Planned Parenthood's political arm is warning voters in North Carolina and Colorado that Republican Senate candidates' support for over-the-counter birth control is not what it seems.

Two new ads target North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (R) and Rep....

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Women Senators Urge NFL To Adopt 'Zero-Tolerance Policy' For Domestic Violence

(150) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 1:07 PM

A group of 16 women senators penned a strongly worded letter to National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday demanding that the league permanently dismiss any player who commits an act of domestic violence.

The senators said they were "shocked and disgusted" that the NFL only suspended Baltimore...

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Senate Republicans Allow Debate On Equal Pay Bill

(70) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 4:11 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans have blocked debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act on all three previous occasions it has been brought to the floor. But they changed their strategy on Wednesday, voting for the first time ever to allow debate on the equal pay legislation.

The bill needed 60...

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Ray Rice Video Causes Huge Spike In Calls To Domestic Violence Hotline

(236) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 1:24 PM

The National Domestic Violence Hotline has seen an 84 percent increase in phone calls in the two days since a video leaked of former NFL player Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in an elevator.

Katie Ray-Jones, the CEO of the hotline, said it normally receives 500 to...

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Conservatives Predictably Shame Wendy Davis For Sharing Abortion Story

(515) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 5:36 PM

Since Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) revealed in her new memoir that she once made the difficult decision to end a pregnancy she and her husband very much wanted, some conservatives have cast doubt on the truth of Davis' story and her motivations in telling it.

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Women Are Less Than A Quarter Of U.S. House Witnesses

(28) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 1:28 PM

The U.S. House of Representatives is far more interested in hearing from men than women when it considers new legislation, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Sunlight Foundation.

The analysis, based on data from the Clerk of the House, found that women have made up...

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Greg Abbott Treads Lightly In Response To Wendy Davis' Abortion Story

(408) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 12:06 PM

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) has been called many unflattering names since she stood for 11 hours straight last year to filibuster an anti-abortion bill, including "Abortion Barbie." But opponents of legal abortion gave careful, measured responses this weekend to the revelation that Davis had...

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Black Women Are The Only Demographic Not Gaining Jobs

(121) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 3:03 PM

African-American women are the only demographic in the United States whose unemployment rate has not improved over the past year, according to a National Women's Law Center analysis of the latest jobs data.

The overall unemployment rate dropped from 7.2 percent to 6.1 percent between August 2013 and August 2014,...

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Ex-Tom Corbett Staffer Complains Of Porn Culture, Gender Discrimination

(45) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 12:43 PM

The Pennsylvania attorney general's office paid a $15,000 settlement to a female agent who accused executives of sharing pornographic emails and making derogatory comments to women while Tom Corbett, who is now the state's Republican governor, was in charge.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the agent, Dianne Buckwash,...

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