iOS app Android app

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

West Virginia Governor Vetoes 20-Week Abortion Ban For The Second Time

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 12:32 PM

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) vetoed a bill Tuesday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, including in cases of rape and incest. He vetoed the same bill in 2014.

The governor said in a statement that the legislation was unconstitutional. In 1973, the Supreme...

Read Post

Scott Walker Removes Campus Rape Reporting Requirements After University's Request [UPDATE]

(218) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 12:02 PM

UPDATE: Feb. 28 -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker deleted campus rape reporting requirements from his new two-year budget this month at the request of University of Wisconsin Systems. The network of campuses said the federal government already required them to report rape statistics, and the Wisconsin state requirement forced them...

Read Post

Over-The-Counter Birth Control May Be A Game-Changer

(197) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 8:01 AM

About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. But if birth control pills were available over the counter and covered by insurance, the rate of unintended pregnancies could drop by as much as 25 percent, according to a study published Friday in the journal Contraception.

Read Post

House Republicans Slip Anti-Abortion Language Into Education Bill

(814) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 1:16 PM

House Republicans attached language to a major education bill Wednesday night that would financially penalize school districts that allow school-based health centers to provide information about abortion to pregnant high school students.

The amendment to the Student Success Act, a GOP overhaul of No Child Left Behind, would withhold...

Read Post

76-Year-Old Man Bikes 300 Miles To Raise Money For Planned Parenthood

(15) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 12:00 PM

Planned Parenthood of South Texas is turning 76 this year, and so is Texas resident Gene Novogrodsky.

To mark the two occasions, Novogrodsky embarked on a 300-mile bike ride at 6 a.m. Thursday from his hometown of Brownsville to San Antonio. The ride, which he is calling the

Read Post

Former Congresswoman Says Male Senator Asked Her To Fetch Him A Cup Of Tea

(118) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 6:02 PM

Former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that when she served in the House of Representatives in the late 1970s and early '80s, Congress was a far more hostile place for women than it is now.

A male senator, she said, once asked her to fetch him a cup...

Read Post

Anti-Abortion Lawmaker Clearly Doesn't Understand Female Anatomy

(602) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 3:52 PM

During a debate over an anti-abortion bill, a Republican lawmaker in Idaho asked Monday whether women can just swallow a tiny camera in order to conduct a gynecological exam remotely with a doctor.

According to the Associated Press, Idaho Rep. Vito Barbieri (R) posed the bizarre question...

Read Post

Another GOP Lawmaker Wades Into Rape Debate

(532) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 9:39 PM

A Republican state lawmaker said Thursday that women who become pregnant from sexual assault should not be exempt from an anti-abortion measure, because childbirth resulting from rape is "beautiful."

"Obviously rape is awful," West Virginia Del. Brian Kurcaba (R) said during a committee hearing on a new abortion restriction,...

Read Post

Scott Walker On 2016: 'I Wouldn't Bet Against Me'

(1097) Comments | Posted February 1, 2015 | 11:37 AM

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has not officially announced that he will run for president in 2016, but he is feeling very confident about his chances.

Martha Raddatz, host of ABC’s “This Week,” asked Walker on Sunday morning whether there is a 99 percent chance he’ll run.

"I don’t...

Read Post

Mike Huckabee: Gay People 'Can Be My Friends'

(1075) Comments | Posted February 1, 2015 | 11:03 AM

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said on Sunday that even though he opposes gay marriage for religious reasons, he has plenty of gay friends -- just like he has friends who drink, curse and enjoy ballet.

"People can be my friends who have lifestyles that are not necessary...

Read Post

John McCain Stands By Calling Protesters 'Low-Life Scum': 'I Think They're Terrible People'

(1152) Comments | Posted February 1, 2015 | 10:16 AM

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he will not apologize for calling protesters "low-life scum" at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing earlier this week.

"I think they're terrible people," McCain said of Code Pink, the women-led grassroots peace and social justice group that protested the hearing, in an...

Read Post

Congressman Tim Ryan Changes Position On Abortion After Talking To Women

(337) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 11:21 AM

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), a longtime opponent of abortion, announced in an op-ed on Tuesday that he now supports abortion rights after having talked to women in difficult circumstances throughout his home state.

"I have sat with women from Ohio and across the nation and heard them talk...

Read Post

Sports Illustrated Will Run Edgy Domestic Violence Ad Ahead Of Super Bowl

(43) Comments | Posted January 25, 2015 | 12:57 PM

After initially rejecting an edgy advertisement about domestic violence in the National Football League, Sports Illustrated magazine has decided to run the ad on its website Thursday, just a few days before the Super Bowl.

The ad, created by the progressive advocacy group Ultraviolet, includes a dramatic...

Read Post

House Republicans Propose Bill Mandating Ultrasounds Before Abortions

(565) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 5:59 PM

Shortly after House Republicans had to cancel a vote on an anti-abortion bill that some members found to be too extreme, GOP congressmen on Thursday introduced three new abortion restrictions, including one that would require women to receive an ultrasound procedure before an abortion.

The mandatory ultrasound...

Read Post

House Passes Anti-Abortion Bill On Anniversary Of Roe v. Wade

(1778) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 1:52 PM

On the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark abortion rights decision in Roe v. Wade, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 242-179 to pass a bill that would codify a ban on federal funding for abortions.

The bill would prevent women from having their abortions covered by Medicaid; restrict...

Read Post

GOP Does Damage Control After Abortion Bill Embarrassment

(278) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 10:49 AM

House Republicans scrambled on Thursday to appease social conservatives after unexpectedly canceling a vote on a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed the House easily just two years ago. The bill was expected...

Read Post

House GOP Cancels Vote On 20-Week Abortion Ban

(281) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 9:52 PM

WASHINGTON -- On the eve of a scheduled House of Representatives vote on a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Republican leaders canceled the vote and replaced it with a less-controversial abortion limit, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The 20-week ban was assumed by many...

Read Post

Democrats Vow To Defend Abortion Rights On Roe v. Wade Anniversary

(19) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 2:36 PM

WASHINGTON -- Democrats in both chambers of Congress will introduce a resolution Thursday that asserts the "constitutionally protected right to safe, legal abortion services," the same day that House Republicans will vote to roll back abortion rights.

The GOP-led House of Representatives plans to vote on a bill that...

Read Post

GOP Congresswomen Get Cold Feet On Anti-Abortion Bill

(382) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 2:07 PM

A group of Republican congresswomen led by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) is expressing concerns about an anti-abortion bill that was expected to have overwhelming GOP support in Congress, National Journal reported on Friday.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in...

Read Post

Rick Snyder Vetoes Gun Bill Over Domestic Violence Concerns

(426) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 1:09 PM

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) bucked the National Rifle Association on Thursday and vetoed a concealed carry gun bill that would have allowed some people with restraining orders issued against them for domestic violence to carry a concealed pistol.

"We simply can't and won't take the chance of exposing...

Read Post