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The Texas State Capitol on the first day of a special session on Sept. 20, in Austin. Photo: Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last week signed into law a bill that adds more restrictions and increases criminal penalties for the use of abortion-inducing medication, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Why it matters: The bill, which comes after Texas implemented one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the U.S., is being decried by abortion-rights groups as a "back-door ban," the Dallas Morning News writes.

Driving the news: The new bill, Senate Bill 4, prevents physicians or providers from giving out abortion-inducing drugs after seven weeks of pregnancy.

  • Additionally, the charge for "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly" violating SB4 is a state jail felony, which carries fines of up to $10,000 and between 180 days and two years of imprisonment, per the Dallas Morning News.

The big picture: The passage of SB4 comes weeks after SB8 went into effect, prohibiting abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected — before many people know they are pregnant.

  • That law also incentivizes individuals to sue anyone suspected of helping a woman obtain an abortion and awards at least $10,000 to people who do so successfully.

What they're saying: "Anti-choice politicians have made their intentions abundantly clear, and they will stop at nothing to strip away reproductive freedom," Adrienne Kimmell, acting president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, told the Dallas Morning News.

Texas state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D) in early August said that the bill was designed to protect pregnant people from complications of taking abortion-inducing drugs.

  • "Doctors need to be present when patients receive these drugs so the patient knows what to expect from normal side effects and what needs to be addressed quickly before it turns into a serious issue," Lucio said in his layout of the bill during a Senate committee hearing.

Go deeper

White House blasts Texas bill targeting trans youth in sports as "hateful"

LGBTQ rights supporters gather at the Texas State Capitol to protest state Republican-led efforts to pass legislation that would restrict the participation of transgender student athletes. Photo: Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

A White House spokesperson on Tuesday condemned a Texas bill that would force public school students to play on sports teams based on their assigned sex at birth, telling the Dallas Morning News the legislation is "hateful."

Why it matters: If passed, Texas would become the 10th state in the country to enact legislation banning transgender kids from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity, per NBC News.

9 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

9 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.