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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

ACLU Seeks To Challenge Law Targeting Pregnant Drug Addicts

(1) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 5:11 PM

Mallory Loyola, 26, is sitting in a Tennessee jail on charges of assault because her newborn daughter tested positive for methamphetamine.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is offering to help with Loyola's criminal defense. But the group is also seeking the right plaintiff -- a drug-addicted pregnant...

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Houston Shooting May Reveal Loopholes In Domestic Violence Gun Laws

(123) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 4:30 PM

The man who fatally shot four children and two adult relatives of his ex-wife near Houston this week had a history of domestic violence, according to a divorce decree, and was legally prohibited from purchasing or possessing a gun.

Ronald Lee Haskell, 33, was charged with "simple assault and...

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Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones Crumble Around The Country

(932) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 3:09 PM

Two weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that Massachusetts' protective buffer zone around abortion clinics violates the free speech rights of protesters, four other buffer zones around the country have already disappeared or been challenged in court.

The City Council of Portland, Maine, repealed its...

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Dems: Supreme Court Turned Religious Freedom Law 'On Its Head'

(28) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 12:32 PM

The Supreme Court ruled last week that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law passed nearly unanimously by Congress in 1993, protects for-profit corporations from having to cover contraception in their health plans if they morally object to it. But the Democratic members of Congress who helped pass RFRA nearly...

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Democrats Fast-Track Bill To Override Hobby Lobby Decision

(2977) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 4:15 PM

Senate Democrats are expediting legislation that would override the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case and compel for-profit employers to cover the full range of contraception for their employees, as required by the Affordable Care Act.

The bill, which is co-authored by Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)...

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Women Senators Propose Bill To Boost Child Care Tax Credits

(21) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 9:09 AM

Democratic women senators introduced a bill on Tuesday that aims to make child care less expensive for working parents by expanding the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC).

The Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act, introduced by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.),...

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Missouri Governor Vetoes 'Extreme And Disrespectful' Anti-Abortion Bill

(817) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 2:31 PM

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed a bill on Wednesday that would have tripled the state's mandatory waiting period before an abortion to 72 hours, even in cases of rape and incest.

House Bill 1307 would have required women to wait three days after an initial consultation...

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Hobby Lobby Win Could Spell Trouble For Religious Nonprofits

(1076) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 3:59 PM

WASHINGTON -- In his opinion concurring with the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby birth control case Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy may have tipped his hand on a related group of lawsuits brought by nuns and religious nonprofits against the contraception mandate.

The Supreme Court decided...

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg Writes Scathing 35-Page Dissent In Birth Control Case

(4051) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 12:31 PM

The Supreme Court delivered a blow to universal birth control coverage on Monday, ruling that closely-held corporations can refuse to cover contraception in their health plans for religious reasons. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sharply disagreed with the five conservatives on the court, delivering a scathing, 35-page dissent...

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5 Political Operatives Just Hammered Women And Workers

(3229) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 12:11 PM

WASHINGTON -- On Monday, the Supreme Court dealt a significant blow to the progressive movement, handing down decisions in two high-profile cases regarding birth control and labor unions.

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the court ruled 5-4 that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage...

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Supreme Court Rules In Hobby Lobby Case, Dealing Blow To Birth Control Coverage

(3940) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 10:20 AM

A divided Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Monday that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees.

In an opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito, the court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell that the Obama administration has...

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones For Abortion Clinic Protests

(1342) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 10:31 AM

The Supreme Court ruled on McCullen v. Coakley Thursday, striking down a Massachusetts law requiring protesters to stay at least 35 feet from an abortion clinic's entrance and walkways.

In a unanimous opinion, the court held that such buffer zones violate First Amendment free speech rights.

Chief Justice...

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House Budget Markup Turns Into Heated Abortion Debate

(63) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 5:12 PM

A House markup of a budget bill turned into a heated and emotional debate about abortion rights on Wednesday morning when a Republican congressman introduced a controversial anti-abortion amendment.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) offered an amendment to the fiscal 2015 financial services and general government appropriations bill that would...

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NRA Fights For Convicted Stalkers' Gun Rights

(748) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 2:38 PM

The National Rifle Association is fighting proposed federal legislation that would prohibit those convicted of stalking and of domestic violence against dating partners from buying guns, according to a letter obtained by The Huffington Post.

Federal law already bars persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from purchasing firearms.

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Wendy Davis Celebrates 1-Year Filibuster Anniversary

(12) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 10:49 AM

Exactly one year ago, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) strapped on her now-famous pink sneakers and a back brace and stood on the Senate floor for 11 straight hours, without food or bathroom breaks, to filibuster a draconian anti-abortion bill that has shut down...

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House Committee Makes Rare Move In Favor Of Abortion Rights

(29) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 12:06 PM

The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved by voice vote an amendment that will extend abortion coverage to Peace Corps volunteers who are raped during their service.

The GOP-controlled committee blocked the abortion coverage provision last year after the Senate tried to include it in the State and Foreign Operations...

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White House Moves To Overhaul Policies For Working Parents

(126) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 8:34 AM

Being a working parent is relatively tough in the United States, thanks to a lack of policies guaranteeing flexibility, paid leave and affordable childcare. But the White House is aiming to change that this year with major policy summit on Monday and a months-long, multidimensional campaign to elevate the conversation...

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Rand Paul Says Voting Rights Bill For Felons Will Help Him Reach Minorities

(35) Comments | Posted June 22, 2014 | 11:51 AM

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that a new voting rights bill he's working on would help him reach out to new demographics, especially minorities.

Paul plans to introduce a bill that would restore the vote for people who are in prison for minor drug offenses. States have different felony...

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Rand Paul: We Created 'Jihadist Wonderland' In Iraq

(1002) Comments | Posted June 22, 2014 | 11:02 AM

As the Islamist militia group ISIS gains new ground in Iraq, capturing four more towns near the Syrian border and barreling towards Baghdad, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is holding strong to his belief that the United States should stay out of the conflict in the region.

On CNN's "State...

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Kevin McCarthy: The Problem With Washington Is Harry Reid, Not Obama

(824) Comments | Posted June 22, 2014 | 10:03 AM

Less than a week after being elected majority leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is blaming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for all of Washington's dysfunction.

Asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether he would be willing to work with President Barack Obama as majority leader, McCarthy...

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