Republican leaders in as many as six US states are rushing to follow the lead of Texas in adopting an extreme abortion ban that critics, including Joe Biden, have slammed as unconstitutional and built to encourage vigilantism among the public.

Abortion rights advocates are bracing to resist a flurry of initiatives from Florida to North Dakota in the wake of the new Texas law, the most extreme in the US, which the conservative majority on the supreme court refused to block.

On Wednesday, the law went into effect in Texas, banning abortion past six weeks of a pregnancy, including

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