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Photo: Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bans abortions as early as six weeks and before many people know they are pregnant, the Texas Tribune reports.

Why it matters: Senate Bill 8 lets almost anyone — including people with no connection to the person getting the abortion — sue abortion providers who look to perform the procedure after the time limit.

  • The bill bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks, and it does not provide an exception for rape or incest.
  • When asked about the lack of exceptions for rape and incest, Texas state Sen. Bryan Hughes, the bill's sponsor in the Senate, told CNN: "Let's do everything we can to hold people accountable who do something like that, to protect women from that. ... Let's harshly punish the rapist, but we don't, we don't punish the unborn child."

The big picture: Other states have passed so-called "heartbeat" bills, but they have been mostly blocked by federal courts, per the Texas Tribune.

What he's saying: "Our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion," Abbott said.

  • "In Texas, we work to save those lives. And that's exactly what the Texas legislature did this session."

Worth noting: The move comes days after the Supreme Court announced it would hear a challenge on a Mississippi law that looks to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The case could potentially challenge Roe v. Wade and ban abortions altogether.

What to watch: The law will take effect starting September, per the Tribune.

Go deeper

Aug 25, 2021 - Health

NRA cancels annual meeting due to COVID-19

A man checks out a display at the NRA annual meeting of members in Indianapolis in 2019. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association has canceled its annual meeting in Houston because of concerns about the rising rate of COVID-19 infections in Texas, the organization announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Texas, like much of the U.S., is experiencing a surge in cases driven by the highly-contagious Delta variant.

1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.