Wisconsin Scott Walker's Next Target: Cancer Screenings for Women

In Wisconsin, Planned Parenthood foes go after a program to provide women with free cancer screenings.

First he gutted worker's rights, then slashed state education funding and dumbed-down sex ed. Next on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's hit list? Breast and cervical cancer screenings for women. Come January 1, Wisconsinites who rely on Planned Parenthood to access free cancer screenings may be out of luck.

The Wisconsin Well Woman Program is an 17-year-old state service created to ensure that women ages 45 to 64 who lack health insurance can access preventive health screenings. It is administered by the Department of Health Services and provides referrals and screenings for breast cancer, cervical cancer, and multiple sclerosis at no cost. The state currently uses a number of contractors to coordinate and provide those services, including Planned Parenthood. But now, in a move that could leave many women in the state without access to the program, the Walker government is ending Planned Parenthood's contract.

In four Wisconsin counties, Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider currently contracted as a coordinator for the cancer screenings. Coordinators evaluate women for eligibility, enroll them in the program, and then connect them to health care providers that can perform the exams. The coordinators also do community outreach, letting women know that there are options for preventative care even if they don't have health insurance. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin has been a contractor since the program began—including during the terms of previous GOP governors Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum—but the group recently learned that its contract is being terminated at the end of the month.

Beth Kaplan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services, told Mother Jones that no decision has been made on the contract and would not comment on why it might not be continued. But Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, says they were told that the state is cutting them out of the program. "They have very clearly stated that they were ending the contract with us," she says. [UPDATE: Walker himself has confirmed that the state is ending its contract with Planned Parenthood.]

Atkinson says the DHS cut is politically motivated; as far as she knows, her group was the only service provider whose contract was not renewed. The move puts in question what will happen to the more than 1,000 women that access the Well Woman Program through Planned Parenthood in Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, and Outagamie counties every year. Doctors found 15 cases of cervical and breast cancer in the 1,260 women screened in those counties in 2010—cases that likely would not have been detected if women didn't have access to the Well Woman Program. The county health officers in two of those counties have already issued statements decrying the state for targeting Planned Parenthood for the cut and for risking the health of their residents.

"If it's not Planned Parenthood, then who's going to coordinate? Where do women go?" Atkinson asks. "We don't have any indication at this point."

If Walker goes through with the cut, women like Laurie Seim might not get the services they need. Two years ago, the 52-year-old Seim discovered a lump in her breast and started feeling feverish and sick. Even though she had a part-time job as a medical assistant, she didn't have health insurance and had never had a mammogram. The doctor she worked for sent her to the Well Woman Program coordinator at the Outagamie office of Planned Parenthood. She was able to get a mammogram the next day as well as an ultrasound, and both were covered by the program. Thankfully, she learned she had a cyst, not cancer. But without the program, she says, she probably wouldn't have gotten that care.

"I didn't have to worry about anything. It was such a godsend," Seim says. "If I hadn't been referred to that program, I don't know what I would have done." She worked in the medical field but still didn't know how to navigate the system. "Well Woman was there for me."

Planned Parenthood also provides some of the health screenings covered under Well Woman at other clinics around the state, including colposcopy, which is used to evaluate a women's cervical health if she has an irregular pap smear result. But another bill that has been proposed in the Wisconsin State Senate would bar Planned Parenthood from providing those services, too. Senate Bill 331, sponsored by Republicans Mary Lazich, Glenn Grothman, and Pam Galloway, would block Planned Parenthood and any other health centers that also offer abortion services from being reimbursed for screenings through the Well Woman Program.

This isn't the first time Walker and his allies in the Legislature have targeted Planned Parenthood. In June, Walker approved a budget that blocked state and federal funds from going to the group and any of its 27 health centers around the state. The clinics provide care to 73,000 women annually. And although there are already rules barring public funding from going to abortion services, Republicans in the state have gone after any and all money that goes to Planned Parenthood—even if it's for services like cancer screenings.

"They're willing to put their political ideology before women's lives," Atkinson says. "That's really what's happening here."

Link to original article from Mother Jones


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Changes in America's Dairyland foul the waters of Green Bay

Changes in America's Dairyland foul the waters of Green Bay

Manure is a potent fertilizer that does wonders for the crops that feed the cows that give the milk that makes Wisconsin America's Dairyland. It's also making a mess of its waters. While Green Bay holds a mere 1.4% of Lake Michigan's water, it receives one-third of the lake's nutrient load — due largely to the farm fields that drip phosphorus-rich manure into the streams, creeks and rivers that flow toward the bay. Samples taken in many of those waterways over the past decade show average summer phosphorus levels twice as high —...

Dan Egan | Journal Sentinel 14 Sep 2014 Hits:156 Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Still Barred From Implementing GOP's Photo ID Law: A Quick Review of the Story S…

Wisconsin Still Barred From Implementing GOP's Photo ID Law: A Quick Review of the Story So Far

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Ernest A. Canning | The Brad Blog 28 Aug 2014 Hits:218 Wisconsin

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Wisconsin loses $206 million by not fully expanding BadgerCare

Wisconsin loses $206 million by not fully expanding BadgerCare

Wisconsin taxpayers would have saved $206 million over two years — 73% more than previously estimated — if officials had fully expanded its main health care program for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act, a new nonpartisan report shows. If officials decide to change course and expand the program in the next state budget, state taxpayers would save another $261 million to $315 million through June 2017, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The bureau serves the Legislature and is widely respected by lawmakers from both sides of the...

Patrick Marley | Journal Sentinel 17 Aug 2014 Hits:296 Wisconsin

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Wisconsin's cuts to state aid for schools 7th largest in nation

Wisconsin's cuts to state aid for schools 7th largest in nation

Wisconsin's cuts to state aid for K-12 education since the start of the recession is the 7th largest in the country, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The report from the center, which calls itself "fiscally conservative but socially liberal," calculates that Wisconsin cut its state aid to K-12 public schools by 15.3% since 2008, a reduction that out-paced the cuts made by all but six other states during that time. When measured in dollar amounts rather than percentages, Wisconsin's cuts to state aid since...

Erin Richards | JS Online 14 Sep 2013 Hits:559 Wisconsin

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To Protect Voting Rights

To Protect Voting Rights

“The Fight for Voting Rights, 50 Years Later” (editorial, Aug. 28) correctly states that the voter suppression measures taken in states across the country make clear “the need for comprehensive and lasting protection of voting rights.”        While it is important to reform the Voting Rights Act, the best way to ensure full protection of our voting rights is to include a guaranteed right to vote in our Constitution. Contrary to popular belief, although the Constitution prohibits discrimination in voting based on race, gender and age, it does not explicitly...

Mark Pocan | The New York Times 12 Sep 2013 Hits:527 Wisconsin

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No one in Wisconsin delegation supporting strike on Syria yet

No one in Wisconsin delegation supporting strike on Syria yet

There's one way to unite conservative Republican Sean Duffy and liberal Democrat Mark Pocan. In separate interviews Wednesday, the two congressmen from Wisconsin both expressed intense skepticism about granting President Barack Obama the authority to use military force against the Syria government. "I am leaning strongly no," Duffy said when asked how he might vote. "But I am going to a security briefing on Monday when I get in (to Washington, D.C.), so I'll keep an open mind. But from where my constituents are at, I'm strongly no." Pocan said he hasn't been...

Bill Glauber | JSOnline 05 Sep 2013 Hits:484 Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Capitol Arrests Turn Violent As Police Take Down Protester (VIDEO)

Wisconsin Capitol Arrests Turn Violent As Police Take Down Protester (VIDEO)

The ongoing protests in Wisconsin's Capitol turned violent Monday when police tackled and forcefully restrained a demonstrator while carrying out what has become a daily round of arrests in the rotunda. A video of the incident shows several Capitol Police officers talking very briefly to protester Damon Terrell before they aggressively take him down. Terrell is a regular protester at the so-called "Solidarity Singalong." Police have engaged in a crackdown on progressive protesters in the building since last month, when they began to enforce a requirement for large groups to receive permits for...

Ryan Rainy | Huffington Post 26 Aug 2013 Hits:665 Wisconsin

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Milwaukee says "Hands off Syria!"

Milwaukee says

Milwaukee, WI - A coalition of anti-war groups held a rally against U.S. intervention in Syria June 21. Over a dozen activists chanted, "Money for jobs, not for war!" at the corner of Humboldt and Locust Street in Riverwest. They received support in the form of honks and peace signs from drivers of passing cars. The rally was followed by a teach-in on the Syrian conflict, relating it to the recent U.S. intervention in Libya and other U.S. wars and occupations. A homeless veteran joined the teach-in in the park and...

Fight Back! News.org 15 Aug 2013 Hits:505 Wisconsin

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“Public Education is A Civil Right March and Rally” to be held in Milwaukee on Sept. 21

 “Public Education is A Civil Right March and Rally” to be held in Milwaukee on Sept. 21

If you support Wisconsin’s outstanding public schools, Milwaukee might be the place to be on Saturday, Sept. 21, for the second “Public Education is A Civil Right March and Rally.” Or just maybe, your community might want to plan its own event. Either way, now is the time to stand up for the public schools and public school children in every corner of Wisconsin. Organizers of the Milwaukee event are looking for support, but they are also more than willing to lend a hand to event to others around the state. Contacts...

Tom Beebee | Institue for Wisconsin's Future 10 Aug 2013 Hits:664 Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Residents Speak Out Against Walker’s Regressive Budget Proposal

MADISON – Concerned Wisconsinites packed halls in Milwaukee and Madison this week to testify against Governor Walker’s regressive 2013-15 biennial budget proposal. Over the course of three hours, residents spoke out during public hearings hosted by Democratic members of the state Joint Finance Committee in opposition to key elements of Walker’s budget proposal, including the proposed expansion of school vouchers, the politically motivated rejection of federal Medicaid dollars, and Walker’s anti-middle class tax plan. At the hearing held Tuesday in Madison, Edgewood College Student and United Wisconsin member Zach Madden testified...

United Wisconsin | Press Release 27 Apr 2013 Hits:1763 Wisconsin

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Lawmakers hold public hearing regarding budget issues

Lawmakers hold public hearing regarding budget issues

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Lawmakers from the Joint Finance Committee are holding a public hearing in Greendale Thursday, April 4th to discuss Gov. Walker’s proposed budget and to get feedback on a wide range of issues from taxes, residency rules, BadgerCare, education and mass transit. Before the hearing began, nearly 50 people held a rally outside the Greendale High School auditorium. Those individuals are asking the state Legislature to change the budget to accept federal funding to expand the state’s healthcare program for the poor and disabled. Governor Walker rejected billions of dollars...

Angelica Duria | Fox6Now 09 Apr 2013 Hits:722 Wisconsin

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TV Spending in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Tops $1.1 Million, Conservative Outside Groups…

TV Spending in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Tops $1.1 Million, Conservative Outside Groups Dominate

Television spending in this year’s race for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court topped $1.1 million, with nearly 70 percent of spending coming from conservative interest groups, according to estimates released by the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake. Incumbent Justice Pat Roggensack, who is part of the Court’s conservative wing, defeated Marquette law professor Ed Fallone in the April 2 election, maintaining the Court’s 4-3 conservative majority. Television spending for this year’s Supreme Court race was lower than in recent years, where contentious races put Wisconsin fifth...

Brennan Center for Justice 04 Apr 2013 Hits:918 Wisconsin

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Bills erode the rights of disabled kids

Bills erode the rights of disabled kids

As parents of children with special needs, it is critical to explain the facts behind Senate Bill 486 and Assembly Bill 110, which would allow students with disabilities to attend a public school outside their district or a private school with a taxpayer subsidy. These bills will erode the rights and protections for children with special needs that have been fought for by the people in Wisconsin. There are countless reasons that there is not one group that advocates for individuals with disabilities...

Jenny Stonemeier, Jenni Hofschulte, Adam Stonemeier, Jasmine Alinder, Anna Moffit and Terri Hart-Ell | JS Online 16 Jan 2013 Hits:719 Wisconsin

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Paul Ryan's One Percent Rubs Affluence in Face of Wisconsin's Middle Class and Working Poo…

Paul Ryan's One Percent Rubs Affluence in Face of Wisconsin's Middle Class and Working Poor

One Percent Rubs Affluence in Face of Wisconsin's Middle Class and Working Poor This Monday, November 5th the doors will open at 7:30 for the Milwaukee Victory Rally with “Paul and the GOP” at Sterling Aviation on South Howell at Mitchell Field. The event will begin at 9:30. These are the folks who are the “job creators”, the ones whose “Pathway to Prosperity” for the 1% requires the “pathway to Austerity” for the 99%. It is unbelievable that they can say that they understand the middle...

Keith Roberts | Uppity Wisconsin 06 Nov 2012 Hits:1141 Wisconsin

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Shift U.S. spending priorities; save state jobs

Shift U.S. spending priorities; save state jobs

On Oct. 25, Oshkosh Corp. announced that 450 employees will find themselves without jobs in January. While the national debate rages over economic recovery and job production, hundreds of Wisconsin families are left in uncertainty, with unemployment and hardship waiting to greet them in the new year. Oshkosh Corp. has been a stable employer for longer than most of us can remember. What began as the Wisconsin Auto Duplex Co. in 1917, today Oshkosh Corp. sells and services products in more than 130 countries. ...

Mike Helbick | JS Online 02 Nov 2012 Hits:973 Wisconsin

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Soglin says protesters can march on State Street without paying for police services

Soglin says protesters can march on State Street without paying for police services

Update: Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said Friday that protesters have the right to march on State Street and refuse to pay for police services the Police Department recommends, though they could encounter inconveniences, such as traffic from buses. Madison police have begun charging groups to march down State Street, sparking discord with the Madison Area Peace Coalition and leaving organizers of the 42nd annual Great Midwest Marijuana Harvest Festival fuming. Representatives of both groups say they will likely march without a permit this weekend...

Sandy Cullen | Wisconsin State Journal 06 Oct 2012 Hits:740 Wisconsin

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Keep Fighting!

Keep Fighting!

What a time it is to be living in Wisconsin and to be engaged in politics. The Milwaukee County chapter of Progressive Democrats of America celebrated its one-year anniversary recently by attending and representing PDA at Fighting Bob Fest. It was just a year ago – when I had the pleasure to sit down and meet with Conor Boylan, Tim Carpenter, Jim Carpenter (my PDAMC Co-Chair), Thom Hartmann and others – that the seeds were planted to form our PDA chapter in Milwaukee County. Since then we...

Robert Hansen | MilwaukeeDems.org 01 Oct 2012 Hits:688 Wisconsin

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Paul Ryan Obsession With Ayn Rand 'Disturbing,' Says House Challenger Rob Zerban

Paul Ryan Obsession With Ayn Rand 'Disturbing,' Says House Challenger Rob Zerban

WASHINGTON -- The Democrat hoping to defeat Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan in his other race is alarmed by a matter close to the congressman's heart: his obsession with Ayn Rand. "It's a bit disturbing that somebody in such a position could be so heavily influenced by what was obviously really bad fiction," Rob Zerban, the Wisconsin Democrat vying for Ryan's House seat, told The Huffington Post. Wisconsin election law allows Ryan to run concurrently for vice president and his current seat in Congress. Particularly...

Jennifer Bendery | Huffington Post 27 Sep 2012 Hits:1272 Wisconsin

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Wisconsin slammed over handling of federal money

Wisconsin slammed over handling of federal money

Madison - Two Wisconsin state agencies have failed to follow federal law and their own policies in issuing economic development grants, the U.S. government said in a strongly worded letter sent to Gov. Scott Walker's administration. The Wisconsin State Journal reported Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Aug. 12 letter ordered Walker's administration to improve the distribution of economic development money. Department of Administration spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis said the agency for the most part agrees with the conclusions and the corrective ...

AP/JSOnline 27 Sep 2012 Hits:828 Wisconsin

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Victory In Wisconsin

Victory In Wisconsin

A Wisconsin judge has struck down the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers, ruling the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void. The action comes after a lawsuit brought by unions for Madison teachers Milwaukee city employees. A Walker spokesman said they will appeal. Stay tuned. Common Dreams

Common Dreams Staff 14 Sep 2012 Hits:575 Wisconsin

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Governor Walker Declares “Read the Constitution Day”?!?

Governor Walker Declares “Read the Constitution Day”?!?

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin is declaring September 17 as “Read the Constitution Day.” But he should read it himself, both the U.S. Constitution (with special emphasis on the First Amendment) and the Wisconsin State Constitution, since he has been violating the spirit of the first and the letter of the second. He closed the capitol down during the protests in February and March of 2011. He had people arrested (including me) for merely holding signs or taking pictures in the State Assembly gallery last fall. And over the last couple...

Matthew Rothschild | The Progressive 14 Sep 2012 Hits:1163 Wisconsin

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WI Legislators with ALEC Ties

Assembly

Senate

Wisconsin Legislators With ALEC References in Blue Books

  • Sen. Donald K. Stitt (R) – State Chairman of ALEC (1987-1988), Member (1991-1992 and 1993-1994) (also State Chairman in 1986[195])
  • Rep. Susan B. Vergeront (R) – WI Chairperson (1989-1990 and maybe 1991-1992)
    • Task Force on Empowerment, Family and Urban Planning
    • ALEC Legislator of the year (1991)
  • Rep. Marc C. Duff (R) - (1991 – 1998)
  • Rep. Annette P. Williams (D) – America’s Outstanding State Legislator Award (1990)
  • Mary Lazich (R) – Member (1993 – 1998)
  • Timothy T. Hoven (R) – Member (1995-1998)
    • Task Force Commerce and Economic Development (1997-1998)
  • Michael D. Huebsch (R) – Member (1995-1996)* Huebsch was the state co-chairman in at least 2010 if not before, until he became an appointee of Governor Scott Walker in 2011
  • Mark A. Green (R) – State Chairman (1995-1998)
  • Jeffrey T. Plale (D) – Member (1997-2010)
  • Tommy Thompson (R) – Thomas Jefferson Award Winner (1991)
  • Neal J. Kedzie (R) – Member (1999-2010)
  • Jeff Fitzgerald (R) – Member (2001-2011)
  • Bonnie L. Ladwig (R) – Member (2001-2002)
  • Steve Wieckert (R) – Member (2003-2004)
  • Scott Walker (R) – Member (1995 – 1998)
  • Judith Klusman (R) – Member, Task Force on Telecommunications and Agriculture
  • David A. Zien (R) – Member (1995 – 1996)
  • Scott Suder (R) – Criminal Justice Task Force Co-Chair (2002-2004), Member (2002-2010)
  • Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine)[196]

Wisconsin Legislators Mentioning ALEC in their Statements of Economic Interest

2011 Senate
  • Scott Fitgerald (R) - Received $1,529.93
2011 Assembly
  • Jeff Fitzgerald (R) - Received $1,329
  • Dan Knodl (R) - Received $2,000
  • Patricia Strachota (R) - Received $1,404
  • Robin Vos (R) - Received $? (No specific amount)
2010 Senate
  • Scott Fitzgerald (R) - Received $1,466.93
2010 Assembly
  • Scott Suder (R) - Received $1,200 from ALEC and $1,400 from the Heartland Institute
  • Michael Huebsch (R) - Received $2,000
2009 Assembly
  • Kitty Rhoades (R) - Received $575
  • Jeffery Stone (R) - Received $1,200
  • Scott Suder (R) - Received $2,200

Wisconsin Legislators Paying ALEC Membership Fees with Tax Dollars

  • Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse): $100 – 2/1/2011
  • Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin): $100 – 2/1/2011
  • Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls): $100 – 2/1/2011
  • Van Wanggard (R-Racine): $100 – 2/1/2011
  • Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee): $100- 2/1/2011
  • Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau): $100 – 1/1/2011
  • Pam Galloway (R-Wausau): $100 – 1/1/2011
  • Glenn Grotham (R-West Bend): $100 – 1/1/2011
  • Frank Lasee (R): $200 – 1/1/2011
  • Alberta Darling (R-River Hills): $200 – 1/1/2009
  • Mike Ellis (R-Neenah): $100 – 1/1/2009
  • Neal Kedzie (R-Neenah): $100 – 1/1/2007
  • Mike Ellis (R-Neenah): $100 – 1/1/2007
  • Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau): $200 – 1/1/2007[197]

References to Wisconsin ALEC Members in the Cap Times

From the Capital Times (2011):

“These days, a lot of it is health-related. ALEC, a strong believer in state's rights, federalism, and the free-market, is fighting federal health care reform tooth and nail. (It also opposes various state efforts to crack down on the health insurance industry and expand coverage.) Since 2005, 38 states have passed legislation crafted by its Health and Human Services Task Force, according to the ALEC guide. Wisconsin promises to soon be one of the star performers. 'There have been boilerplate bills that have similar characteristics to what has been passed here in Wisconsin,' Fitzgerald says. In December, he says, he and 20 to 30 other Wisconsin GOP lawmakers attended ALEC's national meeting Washington D.C. (emphasis added), where a key topic of study and conversation was federal health care reform. The 'State Legislators' Guide to Repealing Obamacare' was handed out at this meeting, and its model legislation discussed. 'A good example of that is a bill Joe Leibham is working on right now,' Fitzgerald says. "Sen. Joe Leibham, R-Sheboygan, and Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, introduced the bill Fitzgerald is talking about on Thursday. The 'Health Care Freedom Amendment' would change the Wisconsin constitution to prohibit the government from forcing anyone to participate in any public or private health care or insurance program. The amendment is meant to block the implementation of federal health Information from Sourcewatch:

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