Crossing borders is a part of life in El Paso in far West Texas, where people may walk into Mexico to visit family or commute to New Mexico for work. But getting an abortion doesn't require leaving town.
That could change if a federal judge upholds new Texas rules that would ban abortions at 18 clinics starting Sept. 1, including only one that offers the procedure in El Paso, where one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the U.S. has come under particular scrutiny at a trial ending Wednesday in Austin.
Without any abortion providers in El Paso, women there would face a 550-mile trip to the nearest place in Texas to legally terminate a pregnancy. Attorneys for the state point out that women wouldn't really have to drive that far: They could simply go to a clinic 15 minutes away in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.