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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

Patty Murray Gears Up For Abortion Fight In New Leadership Role

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 4:50 PM

As Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) prepares for her new role as the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, she is gearing up a big fight with Republicans over women's reproductive rights.

Murray told The Huffington Post in an interview on Monday that even...

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Proposed Bill Would Require Women To Ask Men's Permission To Have An Abortion

(2374) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 1:59 PM

A bill proposed by a Republican state lawmaker in Missouri would require a woman seeking an abortion to obtain notarized consent from the baby's father, even if he is physically abusive toward her.

The bill's sponsor, State Rep. Rick Brattin, told Mother Jones that while...

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Senators Shoot Down Gillibrand's Military Sexual Assault Reform Bill

(26) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 2:10 PM

Nearly a year after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-N.Y.) military sexual assault reform legislation fell five votes short of passing the Senate, she asked for unanimous consent on Thursday to bring her bill to the floor for another vote. But a group of senators blocked Gillibrand's effort, accusing her...

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Rolling Stone's Missteps Will Set Rape Dialogue Back Years, Advocates Worry

(163) Comments | Posted December 7, 2014 | 3:13 PM

Rolling Stone magazine's unraveling story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia could set back by many years the national movement to discuss and combat sexual assault, survivors and advocates worry.

"I felt like we were almost at a tipping point in this work,"...

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Rolling Stone's UVA Gang Rape Story Begins To Unravel

(669) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 2:46 PM

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Three weeks after a bombshell Rolling Stone article detailed an alleged brutal gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity, the fraternity released a statement that rebutted some of its central claims and the magazine is distancing itself from the article.

Will Dana, the managing editor...

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NFL Executive Cries Through Testimony At Senate Domestic Violence Hearing

(16) Comments | Posted December 2, 2014 | 5:56 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate leaders on Tuesday expressed disappointment that the commissioners of the four major national sports leagues skipped a Senate hearing on domestic violence in sports. But one of the representatives sent by the National Football League, executive Troy Vincent, delivered a personal and emotional testimony about domestic violence...

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'Heartbeat' Abortion Ban Advances In Ohio

(716) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 2:16 PM

Republican lawmakers in Ohio on Thursday advanced a bill that would ban abortion as soon as the fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

H.B. 248, the so-called "Heartbeat bill," advanced out of the House Health and Aging Committee by a...

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Matt Sandusky Announces New Child Sex Abuse Prevention Effort

(62) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 3:33 PM

When Matt Sandusky was only 8 years old, his adoptive father, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, began sexually abusing him -- a crime that he says went on for years. But because Matt had been considered a "problem child" before the Sandusky family took him in, and because...

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Gillibrand: Democrats Did Not Talk Too Much About 'Women's Issues'

(16) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 2:07 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) insisted Wednesday that Democrats didn't run too hard on so-called "women's issues" during the midterms, on the same day that a new poll was released backing up her point.

Gillibrand said the idea that Democrats had a "war on women" strategy...

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Democrats Actually Gained Women's Support Since Last Midterm Election

(20) Comments | Posted November 6, 2014 | 3:56 PM

After Republicans swept the midterm elections on Tuesday, conservatives triumphantly declared the death of Democrats' strategy to appeal to women voters, pointing to the fact that Democrats appear to have lost ground among women voters between 2012 and 2014.

"The bottom has fallen out of the abortion-centered ‘war...

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Mitch McConnell Now Can Bring Up 20-Week Abortion Ban He Promised

(183) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 11:44 AM

In the summer of 2013, the House of Representatives passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is two to four weeks earlier than Supreme Court precedent allows. This year, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised anti-abortion groups that if he became Majority Leader,...

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Congress Will Have 100 Women For The First Time In History

(24) Comments | Posted November 5, 2014 | 1:36 AM

Democrat Alma Adams will become the 100th woman in the 113th Congress after winning a special election on Tuesday to replace Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), who became director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency earlier this year.

Because it was a special election, Adams will not have to...

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Anti-Abortion Ballot Measure Passes In Tennessee

(59) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 11:54 PM

Tennessee voters on Tuesday approved a controversial ballot measure that ensures the state constitution does not protect a woman's right to abortion under any circumstances. Nearly 54 percent of voters approved the measure, with 46 percent opposed, according to Politico.

Amendment 1 overrides the Tennessee...

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Maura Healey Becomes First Openly Gay Attorney General In The Country

(9) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 11:02 PM

Democrat Maura Healey was elected attorney general in Massachusetts on Tuesday, becoming the first openly gay attorney general in the country.

Healey won a competitive primary against former state Sen. Warren Tolman (D) earlier this year. She easily defeated Republican John Miller on Tuesday by a vote of 62...

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Colorado And North Dakota Voters Reject Fetal Personhood Measures

(41) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 10:15 PM

Voters in Colorado rejected an anti-abortion ballot measure on Tuesday that would have granted personhood rights to developing fetuses from the moment of fertilization.

The ballot measure, known as Amendment 67, would have amended the state's criminal code to include fetuses in the category of...

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5 Women Of Color Are Poised To Make Congress A Little More Diverse On Tuesday

(109) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 12:33 PM

The U.S. Congress is a notoriously white, male and middle-aged legislative body. But the House of Representatives is expected to become a bit more diverse on Tuesday, with at least five new women of color poised to win their congressional races.

The Democrats have already elected Alma Adams of North...

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GOP Candidates Appear More 'Pro-Choice' Ahead Of Election

(294) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 4:10 PM

After losing badly among women voters in the 2012 elections, some Republican candidates seem to have undergone a "pro-choice" makeover.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who has previously said he opposes legal abortion even in cases of rape and incest, told voters earlier this month that an anti-abortion...

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3 Ballot Measures Could Obliterate Abortion Rights For Millions Of Women

(926) Comments | Posted October 30, 2014 | 2:25 PM

Voters in Tennessee, North Dakota and Colorado will consider sweeping ballot measures on Tuesday that would eliminate the right to abortion under their state constitutions and, in some cases, criminalize the procedure.

The Tennessee measure, known as Amendment 1, would declare that Tennessee's constitution does not protect...

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Scott Walker Runs Ad Supporting Equal Pay After Repealing Wisconsin's Equal Pay Law

(809) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 12:37 PM

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) released an ad on Tuesday in which his female lieutenant governor applauds his support for equal pay for women -- just two years after the governor signed a bill repealing the state's equal pay law.

"Under Scott Walker, workplace discrimination will always be illegal...

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David Perdue Dismisses Pay Discrimination Lawsuit: 'It Was Less Than 2,000' Women

(382) Comments | Posted October 27, 2014 | 2:46 PM

David Perdue, Georgia's Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, defended himself Sunday night against charges that he paid female managers less than male ones when he was CEO of Dollar General, saying "it was less than 2,000 people" who brought the lawsuit against the company.

"There was no...

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