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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.

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.