Ashley Lopez | KUT

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

Julie Walder, a licensed professional counselor, offers therapy sessions through video conferencing, while Austin follows social distancing rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Mental health care providers in Austin say they're finding it hard to provide telemedicine services to a big chunk of their patients – particularly those with large employer health plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

Planned Parenthood office
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Click here to read in English.  

El Tribunal de Apelaciones del Quinto Circuito ha suspendido temporalmente el fallo de una corte inferior que bloqueaba la prohibición de abortos en Texas durante la epidemia de coronavirus. 

Planned Parenthood office
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily halted a lower court ruling that stopped Texas officials from banning abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Click here to read in English. 

Un juez federal ha bloqueado temporalmente la prohibición de abortos en Texas durante la pandemia del coronavirus en el estado. 

El juez de la Corte de Distrito Lee Yeakel en Austin dictaminó el lunes que empleados del estado no pueden impedir que proveedores de aborto le ofrezcan el servicio a sus pacientes. 

An examination table at a clinic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas’ ban on abortions during the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin ruled Monday that state officials can't restrict abortion providers from offering the procedure to their patients.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Officials at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas say they have canceled 261 abortions since Tuesday, after the state effectively banned the procedure.

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

Abortion providers in Texas are suing state officials for banning abortions as part of their effort to halt procedures that are “not immediately medically necessary” during the coronavirus outbreak.

An ambulance parked outside St. David's South Austin Medical Center.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

State officials say they are trying to get protective gear to medical staff at hospitals across Texas as quickly as possible, as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Texas health officials have banned abortions as part of what they say is an effort to crack down on medical procedures that are “not immediately medically necessary” during the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

The deadline to register to vote in the November 2019 election is Oct. 7.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Texas Democratic Party filed a lawsuit Friday aimed at increasing access to vote by mail as the coronavirus spreads in the state.

Telemedicine laws in Texas got revamped this week as the coronavirus spreads through the state.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday he was waiving a slew of regulations that made it harder for doctors to treat people remotely, also known as telemedicine or telehealth.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As the coronavirus spreads in Texas, older people and people with underlying health issues are being asked to isolate themselves, which could make voting in upcoming elections tricky.

An empty examining room at a hospital
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Tiffany Conner, 43, has spent a large chunk of her life without health insurance. There was a brief period, she said, when she made so little money she was eligible for Texas' Medicaid program.

Texas state Health Commissioner John Hellerstedt, seen during a news conference last month, told Texas lawmakers Tuesday it's mostly up to Texans to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It’s mostly up to Texans right now to prevent widespread transmission of the coronavirus, the commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services told lawmakers Tuesday.

A helicopter pad at Ascension Seton Medical Center
Julia Reihs / KUT

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has agreed to repay consumers after state regulators found the health insurance company was mishandling out-of-network emergency claims and providing incorrect information.

Voters look at sample ballots while waiting to vote at Randalls on Braker Lane on Tuesday.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Citing fears of the new coronavirus, election workers in Travis County didn't show up to some polls Tuesday, hobbling or delaying the opening of some voting locations on Election Day.

Texans line up to vote at the Flawn Academic Center on the UT Austin campus on Election Day in 2018.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

If you're reading these words on an electronic device while in a voting location, it’s likely a poll worker will come up to you soon and tell you to cut it out.

Cassie Davis helps register voters on the steps of the Capitol in 2018.
Andrea Garcia for KUT

Texas’ growing Latino vote remains relatively untapped ahead of the state's Democratic presidential primary.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas spent about $862 million in federal and state funds from a program for families in need, according to a new report. But only 6% of those funds were spent on basic assistance, which is the whole point of the program.

Bernie Sanders speaks to the audience at the She the People Presidential Forum at Texas Southern University last year.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Health care remains a top concern for voters in Texas, but they are split on whether to completely upend the country’s current health care system, a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll finds.

Salvador Castro for KUT

Voters under 40 have been largely ignored during the lead up to this year’s presidential primaries, according to a new poll released by the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University.

Alice Yi, the community engagement manager for the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin’s Asian-American population has been among the city’s fastest growing communities in the past decade, but groups are worried the upcoming census won’t reflect that.

A cart of gauze pads and other items used to treat a patient who is hemorrhaging.
Julia Reihs / KUT

An effort to make hospitals safer for women giving birth in Texas has been underway for more than a year now. Doctors and hospital administrators say Texas AIM, which was launched in the summer of 2018, has led to big shifts in how medical staff treat women facing medical complications while having a baby.

The coronavius, or COVID-19, under the microscope.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Austin health officials say the threat of coronavirus has not gotten any bigger now that the first case has been confirmed in Texas.

Dr. Mark Escott, the interim medical director of Austin Public Health, said there is “virtually a 0% chance” of contracting the virus, now known as COVID-19, in Austin.

An EMS truck in front of a hospital.
Spencer Selvidge for KUT

Emergency medical providers in Austin are working with state health officials to expand treatment services for people who overdose on opioids.

Texas Capitol
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas health officials are evaluating whether to accept a block grant from the Trump administration to expand the state's Medicaid program to more low-income adults.

Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape drapes his arm around Clara Engle, while shaking Susan Walch's hand before a meeting on the census.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Bastrop County is among a slew of fast-growing rural counties in Central Texas struggling to make sure their residents are counted accurately during this year’s census, set to begin this spring.

Planned Parenthood
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Trump administration has agreed to give roughly $350 million over five years to Healthy Texas Women, a state family-planning program that excludes Planned Parenthood.

An examination table at a clinic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The percentage of minors unable to get a judge's approval for an abortion in Texas has fluctuated in the past two decades, according to a study published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas will not be resettling refugees in the new fiscal year, Gov. Greg Abbott told federal officials Friday.

State officials had until the end of the month to let federal officials know whether they would resettle refugees, many of whom are fleeing violence in their home countries. The federal government reimburses states for each person they resettle.

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