Karen Brooks Harper

Karen Brooks Harper

Karen Brooks Harper reports on health and human services. An alumna of the University of Missouri-Columbia Journalism School, Karen arrived in Texas in 1995 to join the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, spent several years in Laredo and Mexico covering immigration and the drug war for Knight-Ridder newspapers, and has covered Texas politics for more than two decades for news organizations including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Dallas Morning News and Reuters.

lockers in a school corridor

Some conservatives’ long-term goal in property tax fight: get rid of school taxes altogether

By: - June 25, 2023

After humming under the surface of conservative politics for nearly three decades, a bold question has emerged front and center in this year’s legislative tax cut debate: Can Texas eliminate school property taxes altogether? An influential conservative think tank floated the idea at the beginning of this year’s legislative session, ranking that goal among its […]

HIV test at Crescent Care in New Orleans

Religious employers can exclude HIV preventative drugs in their health plans, federal judge rules

By: and - September 7, 2022

AUSTIN, Texas – A federal judge in Fort Worth agreed Wednesday with a group of Christian conservatives that Affordable Care Act requirements to cover HIV prevention drugs violate their religious freedom. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor also agreed that aspects of the federal government’s system for deciding what preventive care is covered by the ACA […]

Texas abortion foes use legal threats, propose more laws to increase pressure on providers, allies

By: - July 18, 2022

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas anti-abortion conservatives are intensifying their efforts to shut down access for residents seeking abortions, with a near-daily drumbeat of threats and court filings aimed at donors, employers and others trying to help those patients. They are part of a broad campaign by the anti-abortion rights movement, in the days since the […]

Mark Lee Dickson

How Texas’ powerful but fractured abortion opposition helped bring down Roe v. Wade

By: and - May 13, 2022

Nearly 50 years ago, a high school freshman in Alief was in her sex education class when another student asked the teacher about abortion. It was the first time Kyleen Peloquen, then 14, had heard the word.