Ashley Lopez

Ashley Lopez moderates a panel on federal immigration policy in July 2018.
Credit Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Ashley Lopez joined KUT in January 2016. She covers politics and health care, and is part of the NPR-Kaiser Health News reporting collaborative. Previously she worked as a reporter at public radio stations in Louisville, Ky.; Miami and Fort Myers, Fla., where she won a National Edward R. Murrow Award.

Ashley was also part of NPR’s Political Reporting Partnership during the 2016 presidential election. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ways to Connect

Julia Reihs / KUT

What started as a California couple’s goal to raise $1,500 for immigrant legal services is now a multimillion fund to help families facing deportation along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Charlotte and Dave Willner wrote on Facebook on June 16 that they were “collectively revulsed” by the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy, which has led to children being separated from their parents at the southern border en masse.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Groups working with immigrant families in Texas say a Trump administration policy to separate families at the Mexico border is creating a strain on their resources and they don't know how long it will continue.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Abortion providers across Texas filed a lawsuit in federal court today, challenging a slew of “burdensome” laws that have made legal abortions harder to obtain in the state.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texans think the Legislature should expand Medicaid to more low-income people and make health care more affordable, according to a survey released today from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Episcopal Health Foundation.

Pan American Health Organization/Flickr

Only about a third of kids in Texas are getting vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is linked to several cancers. The state ranks 47th in the country for its vaccination rate, according to the Texas Medical Association.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Pediatricians are warning that a federal policy separating parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border poses serious long-term health issues for children. In some cases, they say, the separation could cause “irreparable harm.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Two-thirds of Texas hospitals offering maternity services are taking part in a statewide initiative aimed at reducing maternal mortality.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Public health experts in Texas are concerned that a growing number of American children are forgoing services like Medicaid and food stamps because their parents are undocumented. The trend could get worse, they say, if a proposed change to immigration policy goes through.  

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

Austin leads the nation in its balance of lower and higher incomes, according to a new online public health database from the Department of Population Health at the NYU School of Medicine.

Eddie Gaspar for KUT

Public health officials say housing prices are forcing low-income and minority communities farther east – and farther away from public resources in Travis County.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Congress is considering provisions in the latest farm bill that would roll back eligibility and impose strict work requirements for people receiving help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.  

About 3.8 million Texans rely on SNAP, the largest program for feeding low-income Americans.

El Paso
Jaime Loya/Flickr

Texas is among a small group of states with cases of Valley fever, a lung infection caused by breathing in a fungus called Coccidioides. The illness has been around for a long time, but hasn't really gotten much attention – until recently.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today in a consolidated case challenging Texas' House maps and congressional districts. Both sets of maps were struck down by federal courts last year after judges ruled they intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Texas has resettled dramatically fewer refugees in the past year, figures from Refugee Services of Texas show.

The organization said 3,518 people were resettled between October 2016 and March 2017. Between October 2017 and March of this year, only 736 were resettled. That’s a 79 percent decrease.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

State researchers say a majority of maternal deaths reported in Texas in 2012 were coded incorrectly.

According to a study published Monday in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers were able to confirm just 56 out of 147 obstetric deaths that year – that is, deaths occurring within 42 days of childbirth. 

Austin Price for KUT

A couple dozen Austin students held a town hall meeting with local lawmakers at William B. Travis High School on Sunday to discuss ways to reduce gun violence – particularly at schools.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal judge has ordered Texas officials to comply with the National Voter Registration Act and motor voter laws.

The order could affect an estimated 1.5 million Texans.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Travis County doesn’t have to wait to address racial disparities in maternal mortality, a group of mothers, health care professionals, policymakers and community leaders said yesterday during a summit at Huston-Tillotson University.

Rachel Ralph works long hours at an accounting firm in Oakland, Calif., and coordinates much of her life via the apps on her phone.

So when she first heard several months ago that she could order her usual brand of birth control pills via an app and have them delivered to her doorstep in a day or two, it seemed perfect. She was working 12-hour days.

"Food was delivered; dinner was often delivered," Ralph says. "Anything I could get sent to my house with little effort — the better."

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Some of the state’s leading physicians vetted ideas this weekend to reduce the deaths of women while pregnant or shortly after giving birth.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Kyle and Joycelyn Olson keep a whiteboard on the refrigerator in their East Austin home. They used to use it for things like planning dinner, but these days it has another purpose.

“What we’ve done now is we start to write down what day packages are supposed to arrive and when, even possibly noting the size of the package,” says Kyle Olson, whose wife had a baby this week.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The women’s health care program in Texas still has a long way to go.

According to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Healthy Texas Women, the state’s family-planning program and the breast exam and cervical cancer screening program served about 250,000 women last year. In 2010, the year before Planned Parenthood was removed from the programs, the state served more than 350,000 women.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

One of two direct flights from Stockholm is landing in Austin today. SAS, a Scandinavian airline, has found that South by Southwest is so popular back home that it decided to start flying people nonstop to Austin just for the festival.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A disability rights group in Texas sent out a survey last week, trying to figure out how many of its members became disabled due to gun violence. The group says it’s an effort to collect data that will help inform Texas lawmakers on how they legislate guns.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Democrats Sheryl Cole and Jose “Chito” Vela will move on to a runoff election for Texas House District 46 after pushing out embattled incumbent Dawnna Dukes in the primary on Tuesday.

The district includes parts of East Austin, Manor and Pflugerville.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT'

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir has spent more than a decade working with researchers and computer security experts to design a voting machine that’s more secure and reliable.

This massive undertaking resulted in the Secure, Transparent, Auditable, and Reliable Voting System, or STAR-Vote. But getting manufacturers to build it has been a challenge.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This is a final note to a three-part series on maternal deaths in Texas.

Some of you might have noticed our series on Texas’ maternal mortality crisis this week didn't address the possibility of expanding access to health care in Texas – or how expansion impacted California's crisis. There are some reasons for that.

We looked at California’s successful effort to reduce maternal mortality in the state, and how Texas could possibly replicate that model to save lives. When it’s come up in the past, public health advocates typically point to the fact that Texas has the highest rate and number of uninsured people in the country – many of who are, of course, women.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Early voting for the March 6 primaries in Texas started this week. But, if you plan on voting on Election Day, it’s possible you might run into someone at your polling location with the title of “election judge.”

As part of our Texas Decides project, a listener wanted to know what they do and how they got that job.

Christie Hemm Klok for KUT

Part 3 of a three-part series.

As Texas looks to reduce its maternal mortality rate, there is one aspect of the crisis that is going to be harder to solve: Black women are more likely to die while pregnant or after giving birth than women from other racial or ethnic groups.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Part 2 of a three-part series.

Texas officials have been slow to respond to the state's maternal mortality crisis.

In the last year, lawmakers have passed legislation aimed at improving death certificate data, and they extended the life of a task force investigating why mothers are dying. But advocates are pushing state health officials to do more.

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