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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

Paycheck Fairness Act Blocked Again By Senate GOP

(2332) 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'

(168) 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

(235) 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

(508) 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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Congresswoman Portrayed As A Pair Of Legs With 'Baggage' In New TV Ad

(412) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 11:15 AM

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) doesn't have a head in the latest attack ad against her -- just a pair of legs, some high heels, and a lot of "baggage."

The National Republican Congressional Committee released an ad on Monday that features a thin model -- apparently intended to represent...

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Planned Parenthood Dismisses 'Cynical' GOP Birth Control Proposal

(132) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 6:26 PM

Planned Parenthood and several Republican Senate candidates have finally found something they agree on: that birth control pills should be available over the counter. But the family planning provider has warned voters not to trust the candidates' sudden show of support for the policy, calling it an "empty gesture" designed...

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Anti-Abortion Leader Admits Clinic Restrictions Are Not About Safety

(728) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 4:19 PM

The anti-abortion movement has long claimed that the aim of passing new abortion clinic regulations is to protect women's health and safety. But a leader in that movement admitted on Sunday the real motivation behind those laws is to block women's access to abortion.


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GOP Claims To Be The Equal Pay For Women Party

(388) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 12:47 PM

Just days after an internal report found that the Republican Party is alienating female voters by opposing equal pay laws, the party attempted to reverse that trend in a tweet.

"This #LaborDay, the White House & Democrats believe paying women less than men is an acceptable practice,"...

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Texas Abortion Clinics Receive Last-Minute Reprieve

(787) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 11:40 AM

In May of 2013, Texas had 41 licensed abortion clinics to serve its more than 5 million women of reproductive age. On Monday, if a major provision of a new anti-abortion law went into effect, the state would have been left with only seven clinics -- all concentrated...

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Gillibrand: Congressmen Called Me 'Fat' After Baby

(95) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 3:08 PM

If there was any question as to whether sexual harassment exists among members of Congress, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) confirmed the answer in a new interview with People magazine.

According to excerpts from the interview obtained in advance by the New York Post, the congresswoman recalled multiple male...

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Greg Abbott's Sexual Assault Compensation Claim Called Into Question

(22) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 5:10 PM

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's (R) gubernatorial campaign claimed last week that the candidate "awarded over $1 billion to victims of crimes like sexual assault and domestic violence" -- but a closer look at the numbers reveals the campaign has exaggerated that total.

Abbott's campaign made the claim in...

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Moms Push Back Against 'Sexist' NRA Attack

(823) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 5:46 PM

The National Rifle Association has made a concerted effort over the past several years to expand its appeal to women. But in a move that has drawn criticism from many women, the NRA's official magazine has attacked the founder of a grassroots network of mothers against gun violence...

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Republicans Attack Mary Landrieu For Something Her GOP Opponent Did Too

(23) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 3:49 PM

The National Republican Senatorial Committee went after Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) last year for being late to pay taxes on her home in Washington, D.C. But Landrieu's NRSC-backed Senate opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), made the same mistake this year.

According to public documents from the District...

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