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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

Indiana Shut Down Its Rural Planned Parenthood Clinics And Got An HIV Outbreak

(458) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 12:17 PM

Scott County, Indiana, the center of an exploding HIV outbreak, has been without an HIV testing center since early 2013, when the sole provider -- a Planned Parenthood clinic -- was forced to close its doors. The clinic did not offer abortion services.

The Scott County clinic and four other...

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Chris Christie Embraces 20-Week Abortion Ban

(266) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 7:11 PM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday joined other potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates in endorsing a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

“I am proud to be a pro-life Republican," Christie said in a statement to the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List,...

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Gynecologist Calls Abortion Reversal Bill 'Downright Offensive'

(805) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 1:24 PM

The Arizona State Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday that requires doctors to tell women seeking abortions about an experimental "abortion reversal" procedure that has not been tested or studied by the mainstream medical community.

New York City-based OB-GYN Kathleen Morrell, an abortion provider and reproductive justice advocate with Physicians...

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Jeb Bush Is To The Right Of George W. On Abortion

(194) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 2:49 PM

As former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) fundraises with his brother George W., the likely 2016 presidential candidate is widely being positioned in the media as the more moderate of the two. But on the issue of abortion, Jeb actually stands to the right of his elder sibling....

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These Are The 10 Worst Possible Presidential Campaign Songs

(33) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 1:53 PM

Barack Obama used "Signed, Sealed Delivered," by Stevie Wonder. Mitt Romney used "Born Free," by Kid Rock. George W. Bush used "I Won't Back Down," by Tom Petty.

The campaign song creates a particular mood at a stump speech -- ideally one of confidence, hope and patriotism. But a slight...

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GOP Lawmaker Brings Abortion Into Debate Over Bill Written By Fourth-Graders

(541) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 3:47 PM

A New Hampshire Republican lawmaker said last week that he strongly opposed a bill drafted by local fourth-graders to establish the Red-Tailed Hawk as the "State Raptor" because the predator bird reminds him of an abortion provider.

The hawk "grasps them with its talons then uses its...

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The Abortion Language In The Sex Trafficking Bill Would Make Life Harder For Rape Victims

(192) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 5:31 PM

Republicans in Congress claim the anti-abortion language that is threatening to sink an otherwise uncontroversial sex trafficking bill is the same innocuous provision that Democrats have routinely approved in spending bills. Even the White House this week declined to say that President Barack Obama would veto...

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There's A New Davis In Texas Standing Up For Women's Health -- And She's A Republican

(175) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 4:57 PM

Two years ago, former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) stood and spoke for 11 straight hours to filibuster a bill that eventually shut down multiple abortion clinics in the state. Now, a lawmaker from the other side of the aisle is standing up to protect women's health clinics...

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Texas GOP Lawmaker Hangs 'Former Fetus' Sign Outside His Office In State Capitol

(100) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 1:13 PM

As Planned Parenthood lobbied the Texas state Capitol on Wednesday to continue receiving cancer screening grants, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R) hung an official-looking sign outside his office that identified him as a "FORMER FETUS."

Stickland said he got the sign from the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life,

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West Virginia Legislature Upholds 20-Week Abortion Ban Over Governor's Veto

(108) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 11:44 AM

West Virginia's Republican-controlled legislature voted on Friday to override Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's (D) veto of a bill that banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The vote marked the first time in nearly three decades that the legislature has overturned a governor's veto.

"I believe the...

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Hillary Clinton Hints Again At Presidential Run

(38) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 10:48 PM

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton teased an enthusiastic audience about a 2016 presidential run several times at a gala for the progressive women's group Emily's List on Tuesday.

"Along life's way, you get a chance to make millions of decisions," the former secretary of state told the crowd. "Some of them...

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

(48) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 11:32 AM

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...

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

(222) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 11:02 AM

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...

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

(199) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 7:01 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.

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House Republicans Slip Anti-Abortion Language Into Education Bill

(814) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 12:16 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...

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

(21) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 11:00 AM

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

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

(118) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 5:02 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...

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Anti-Abortion Lawmaker Clearly Doesn't Understand Female Anatomy

(604) Comments | Posted February 23, 2015 | 2:52 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...

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Another GOP Lawmaker Wades Into Rape Debate

(532) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 8:39 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,...

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

(1097) Comments | Posted February 1, 2015 | 10:37 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...

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