|An El Paso clinic shuttered by Texas' tough 2013 abortion law reopened Tuesday, the first in the state to do so since the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked enforcement of some of the key restrictions three months ago.
The Reproductive Services clinic, so close to the Texas-Mexico border that its windows offer views of Ciudad Juarez across the Rio Grande, is now taking appointments and should begin performing abortions next week.
The reopening brings to 20 the number of abortion clinics in America's second most-populous state. But that's still down from 41 in 2012, and the facility could close again soon.
A June 29 Supreme Court order only created a temporary block that will hold until the high court decides whether to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling refusing to suspend the Texas restrictions. It's not clear when that decision will come, but the summer ruling is a strong indication that the Supreme Court eventually will hear the full appeal — which could be the biggest abortion case in decades.
"We're so excited about the reopening, but the discouraging part is we could be closed down at any time," said Marilyn Eldridge, president of Nova Health Systems, which operates Reproductive Services. She and her late husband, a Christian minister, first opened the clinic in 1977.