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

GOP Consulting Firm Staffer Registers 'Boats 'N Hoes PAC' (UPDATE)

(142) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 9:43 PM

As Texas Republicans struggle to win over women voters, a staffer at a prominent GOP political consulting firm has registered a new political action committee in the state called "Boats 'N Hoes PAC."

The San Antonio Express-News first reported that Shaun Nowacki, comptroller for Blakemore &...

Read Post

Conservative Newspaper Mocks Female Candidate In Sexist Editorial

(360) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 1:40 PM

The conservative-leaning Washington Times has published an editorial about a female candidate for U.S. Senate that could help to explain why some women are hesitant to run for public office.

The editorial compares Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, to Hollywood's "beautiful plastic...

Read Post

GOP Lawmaker Compares Abortion To Buying A Car

(569) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 2:26 PM

A Republican state lawmaker in Missouri defended his controversial bill forcing women to have ultrasounds before abortions by comparing abortion to purchasing a new vehicle.

“In making a decision to buy a car, I put research in there to find out what to do," state Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R)...

Read Post

Senate Republicans Block Paycheck Fairness Act For Third Time

(5285) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 11:37 AM

Senate Republicans blocked a vote on Wednesday to open debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would hold employers more accountable for wage discrimination against women. The Senate voted 53 to 44 to move forward on the bill, falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster....

Read Post

Conservatives Push Back Against Equal Pay Efforts

(2258) Comments | Posted April 7, 2014 | 4:49 PM

Conservatives have long struggled to articulate their opposition to legislation ensuring equal pay for women, but they seem to have come up with a cohesive argument this week in response to the Democrats' massive policy push on the subject: The wage gap is a lie.

"Perpetuating the myth...

Read Post

Obama To Sign Executive Orders On Equal Pay

(4085) Comments | Posted April 6, 2014 | 10:58 AM

President Barack Obama will sign two new executive orders on equal pay for women Tuesday, Politico reports. The executive actions coincide with "Equal Pay Day" -- the date that symbolizes how far into 2014 women must work to earn the same amount of money men earned last year.

Read Post

The Return Of The Back-Alley Abortion

(4946) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 10:00 PM

Across the U.S., laws have forced abortion providers to close. Now, four decades after the Supreme Court upheld a woman's right to choose, pregnant women again find themselves crossing the border to Mexico and haunting back-alleys in search of care.
Read Post

Judge Tosses Murder Case Against Mississippi Mom With Stillborn Baby

(237) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 4:35 PM

A Mississippi judge ruled on Thursday that the state has no legitimate murder case against a 24-year-old woman who gave birth to a stillborn baby after using cocaine during her pregnancy.

Rennie Gibbs was a teenager in 2006 when her baby was born dead with the umbilical...

Read Post

Texas Abortion Law Faces New Legal Challenge

(1124) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 3:26 PM

Just days after a federal appeals court upheld two parts of a sweeping anti-abortion law in Texas that would force many clinics to shut down, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a new suit against the law in hopes of allowing some of the clinics in the state...

Read Post

Mississippi Governor To Sign 20-Week Abortion Ban

(29) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 11:13 AM

Mississippi lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill on Tuesday night that bans abortions beyond 20 weeks after the woman's last menstrual period, or 18 weeks of pregnancy. The bill makes an exception for cases in which the mother's life is in danger, but lawmakers rejected exceptions for victims of rape and...

Read Post

Lamar Alexander Wants To Know What Equal Pay Bill Does For Men

(463) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 5:52 PM

WASHINGTON -- The only Republican at a Senate hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act Tuesday had a pointed question: What does the bill do for men?

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, made clear that he opposes the...

Read Post

Candidate For Texas Governor Invokes Man Who Believes Women And Minorities Are Inferior

(378) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 4:37 PM

In his pre-Kindergarten education plan released this week, Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott cites the work of a man who believes that women and minorities are intellectually inferior to white men.

Abbott's plan explains how he'd reform pre-K through third grade in the state. Instead of expanding...

Read Post

Hobby Lobby Invests In Abortion Pill Manufacturers

(4939) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 10:00 AM

The owners of Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned craft supply chain, were so offended by the idea of having to include emergency contraceptives and intrauterine devices in their health insurance plans that they sued the Obama administration and took the case all the way up to the Supreme Court. But

Read Post

GOP Supports Pro-Choice Woman Candidate Over Pro-Life Man

(108) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 3:55 PM

While the Republican Party has made it clear that it opposes legal abortion, GOP senators have chosen to support a pro-abortion rights Republican Senate candidate in Oregon instead of one of her anti-abortion primary opponents.

Republican candidate Monica Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, hopes to challenge...

Read Post

Supreme Court Struggles In Hobby Lobby Case With Question Of Companies' Religious Rights

(10413) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 12:06 PM

WASHINGTON -- Justices on the Supreme Court seemed to struggle Tuesday with the question of whether a private company can get out of a federal law by citing the religious beliefs of its shareholders.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., a Christian-owned crafts supply chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp.,...

Read Post

Women Strongly Oppose Hobby Lobby's Birth Control Case: Poll

(2405) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 2:57 PM

More than two-thirds of U.S. women voters oppose allowing corporations to refuse to cover contraception in their health plans because of religious objections, according to a new poll released Monday by Hart Research Associates.

The poll, commissioned by Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and the...

Read Post

Wendy Davis To Greg Abbott: 'Stop Hiding Behind Your Surrogates' On Equal Pay

(663) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 12:12 PM

Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis delivered a strong message to Republican opponent Greg Abbott on equal pay for women Monday morning, telling him to "act like a Texan" and stop letting his surrogates speak for him on the issue.

"I have a message for Greg Abbott today," Davis said...

Read Post

Conservative Media Freak Out Over Coat Hanger Abortion Symbol

(2503) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 1:10 PM

The DC Abortion Fund, a non-profit group that helps local low-income women afford abortion care, has been giving out coat hanger pendants to its donors for the past four years as a symbol of the dangerous methods women resort to when they are denied access to safe and legal abortion....

Read Post

Mitch McConnell Urges Senate To Pass 20-Week Abortion Ban

(90) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 5:44 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he wants the Senate to pass a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

"It is time for America to join the ranks of most other developed nations around the world and restrict abortion at least...

Read Post

Greg Abbott Says He Would Not Sign Lilly Ledbetter-Like Fair Pay Bill

(145) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 12:46 PM

Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott said Wednesday that as governor, he would not sign legislation making it easier for women to sue their employers over pay discrimination.

Abbott's campaign told the Associated Press that the attorney general opposes bills like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,...

Read Post