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A law banning abortion from as early as six weeks into pregnancy has come into effect in the US state of Texas.

It bans abortions after the detection of what anti-abortion campaigners call a foetal heartbeat, something medical authorities say is misleading.

The law, one of the most restrictive in the country, took effect after the Supreme Court did not respond to an emergency appeal by abortion providers.

Doctors and women’s rights groups have heavily criticised the law.

It gives any individual the right to sue doctors who perform an abortion past the six-week point.