"Compassionate Conservative" Reinstates Dangerous Gag Rule
Overseas clinics that currently receive U.S. funding must comply with the newly-implemented gag rule, or risk losing their much needed financial assistance. The clinics are required to submit a signed certification form to U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) showing that they accept the restrictions.
Millions of women will suffer as a consequence of this action. Poor women in developing countries now face reduced access to contraceptive and family planning services. As a result, there will be more unintended pregnancies and a correlated rise in demand for abortion.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) have announced their intention to challenge the gag rule, and will be introducing legislation that would ban unconstitutional restrictions on foreign non-governmental organizations. The legislation would not allow procedures that are legal in the U.S. to be prohibited abroad.
This policy is fundamentally anti-democratic, as it violates the medical provider's right to free speech and interferes with doctor-patient privilege. It also requires family planning clinics abroad to comply with U.S. regulations, in addition to the laws of the country where the clinic is located. Secretary of State Colin Powell indicated on a television interview show that he disagreed with the policy; First Lady Laura Bush is also reported to be an abortion rights supporter. Other Republicans, including Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chaffee and Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, indicated that they would support Boxer's legislation. Widespread support among Democrats is expected as well.
Action Needed: Please contact members of your Congressional delegation and urge them to support the Lowey/Boxer bill that would repeal or modify the global gag rule.
Here are some talking points:
Much publicity has been given to President Bush's so called faith-based initiatives, a cherished right wing proposal that would expand federal funding for religious organizations to provide a broad range of social services. Bush has installed former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith in a White House office to head up the effort.
Some churches and conservative politicians (including John Ashcroft) have championed the idea, asserting that these groups will offer needed competition to government programs. But others -- including many church leaders -- see the effort as a Trojan Horse that would provide cover for many undesirable practices, including discrimination and outright proselytizing.
Some indication of the Bush administration's true intent with faith-based initiatives (also called "charitable choice") was disclosed when George W. Bush (unaware that his message was going to reporters in another location) told an anti-abortion rights crowd, on the Roe v. Wade anniversary, that these initiatives could help advance their agenda!
Alarmed by this admission and by fears that religion-based, federally-funded programs would seriously erode the constitutional church-state separation, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, is asking for hearings. Rep. Nadler wants the subcommittee to examine the wide range of problems that are anticipated if federal funds go to religious organizations that are exempt from civil rights laws and other non-discrimination requirements.
For many years, church-related non-profit entities have received contracts from the government to provide services, but they have also been required to comply with federal requirements by establishing secular organizations (such as Catholic Charities) that were subject to the law. Recent initiatives, including numerous "charitable choice" provisions in housing, education, health care, and other bills remove those safeguards, allowing groups to evangelize while offering taxpayer-supported social services. These groups would also be exempt from certain civil rights laws, allowing them to discriminate in hiring, provision of services, and other areas.
Action Needed: Send a message to your House member that says "Please do not support expansion of federal funding for so-called faith-based programs and join in Rep. Nadlerís request for hearings."
The approval of Mifepristone (RU-486) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last fall signalled a clear -- albeit belated -- victory. Women were finally given access to early non-surgical abortion. However, within days of the Bush inauguration, that hard-won victory was already being threatened.
During his confirmation hearings, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson alluded to the possibility that he may revisit the approval of the drug, marketed as Mifeprex, due to "safety concerns." Thompson, the former governor of Wisconsin, has a long record of opposing abortion rights and his tenure as HHS secretary may threaten other women's reproductive health programs as well.
Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) and Rep. David Vitter (R-La.) will reintroduce a bill, the RU-486 Patient Health and Safety Protection Act (S. 3157/H.R. 5385, in the 106th Congress), that would mandate a number of crippling restrictions. George W. Bush has expressed a willingness to sign legislation of that nature. After waiting 12 years to see mifepristone become generally available in the U.S., withdrawal would be tragic.
According to the Washington Post, withdrawing approval of mifepristone would be easier than withdrawing approval of other drugs because it was approved under "fast-track" licensing (though the drawn-out testing and approval process for RU-486 was hardly fast). Drugs approved in this category often reach the market with less testing, giving Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to specify a procedure for removing it quickly.
Late in the 106th Congress, the RU-486 Patient Health and Safety Protection Act was introduced by arch abortion opponent, Rep. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), after the FDA announced its approval. But the bill failed to move forward as Congress wound up business. The bill is clearly designed to limit women's access to mifepristone by limiting which doctors may prescribe it, requiring prescribing physicians to have admitting privileges at hospitals within one hour of their offices, and requiring physicians to undergo a government-approved training program about the drug.
Concerns over safety about mifepristone are nonsense. After examining a superlative safety record built after many years of use in Europe and extensive clinical trials in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found the drug safe and effective. All of the proposed restrictions contained in the RU-486 Patient Health and Safety Protection Act have been carefully considered and rejected by the FDA. The legislation is a transparent effort to eliminate this safe and private abortion option.
Action Needed: Contact members of your Congressional delegation and urge them to oppose the RU-486 Patient Health and Safety Protection Act that would greatly limit access to mifepristone; tell them that this highly safe and effective drug must remain widely available.
On yet another important matter where women's health could be affected, support for stem cell research funding has shrunk with the new administration. This month, a Bush spokesperson voiced opposition to this funding, and it is likely that the administration will take action to reverse the guidelines soon.
The field of human embryo research is one of the most promising, cutting-edge areas of scientific investigation. It has possibilities for treating infertility, reducing the frequency of miscarriages, developing and improving cancer treatments, improving some kinds of genetic testing, and creating tissue banks that could be used for bone marrow transplants, spinal cord injuries, and skin grafts. The research is performed on fertilized eggs that have never been in a uterus and does not involve any aborted fetal tissue. Yet it is still being portrayed as an abortion issue and is being held hostage by anti-choice groups and legislators.
Between 1975 and 1993, no federal funds were allocated to human embryo research, because of a ban imposed by successive conservative administrations, with the acquiescence of presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush I. Although it was briefly lifted, the ban has been reimposed by Congress every year since 1996. However, in 1998, the debate heated up with the discovery of stem cells.
Isolated from fertilized human eggs, the stem cells are removed "when the embryo is a hollow ball of cells." Because stem cells do not have the ability to develop into a human fetus, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reasoned that the ban on funding for human embryo research did not apply.
In the 106th Congress, Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced legislation (S. 2015) that would allow federally funded scientists to conduct research on embryonic stem cells. The bill received support from several anti-abortion lawmakers who recognized the validity of the research. Unfortunately, the bill would also permanently enact the current year-to-year ban on human embryo funding.
Action Needed: Contact members of your Congressional delegation to urge their support for scientists who are conducting human embryo and stem-cell research. These are valid medical and scientific inquiries -- unrelated to abortion politics -- that could result in important health advances. Ask them to oppose any attempts by the administration to limit or halt scientific research in this area.
Several additional anti-reproductive rights efforts during the 106th Congress that were unsuccessful may be revived soon. Last July, Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) sought to prohibit any federal funding for the provision of emergency contraception (ECP) in school-based health clinics.
Designed to be used within 72 hours of unprotected sex, emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) are crucial in preventing unintended pregnancy. ECP is not an abortifacient, but simply prevents pregnancies from occurring (it prevents the egg from implanting in the uterus). ECP allows a woman to prevent pregnancy in the event of rape or unprotected sex, although unfortunately only 16% of school-based clinics offer ECP.
Helms' efforts were designed to confuse ECP with abortion, and thereby restrict access to it. Ultimately, the provision was not included in the final Labor-HHS-Education Bill, but anti-abortion rights lawmakers are likely to introduce it when the FY 2002 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill is considered.
Such a provision would severely restrict the access that young women -- mostly uninsured and low income -- have to emergency contraception. It should be noted that almost all of the clinics require parental consent forms and two-thirds allow parents to choose the kinds of services that they want their children to receive.
In the 106th Congress, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) introduced the Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2000 (S. 3127). Passed by the House (H.R. 4292, sponsored by Rep. Charles Canady, R-Fla.) and reported in the Senate, the bill would have amended the US Code, redefining a fetus at any stage of conception as a human being. This would grant a fetus full constitutional rights, clearly competing with and probably superceding the rights of the pregnant woman. The ramifications of such a law are very serious.
Sponsors of the act claimed it was necessary to grant full protection to newborns. In fact, the Born Alive Act would not affect current standards of newborn care, and some neonatologists testified that it would obligate doctors to provide increased care to newborns in cases where there is no hope of survival. Although the Born Alive Act did not pass the Senate, we expect renewed attempts to pass it in the 107th Congress, because because abortion rights opponents want to be able to use the issue as part of their "infanticide" rhetoric.
Action Needed: Contact your Senators and Representative to urge them to vote against any legislation that would define a fetus as a human being. This legislation is not constitutional, and would seriously weaken Roe v. Wade, while failing its stated purpose of increasing protection for newborns.
Support for private insurance coverage of prescription contraceptives will undoubtedly be strengthened by a recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruling. A complaint was brought to the Commission by two women who were denied coverage for contraceptives under their employer's insurance. Because the omissions in coverage apply only to female contraceptive users, it was found to be sex discrimination, and was therefore in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although this ruling applies only to one specific company, it does set a precedent for other companies, and it is hoped that others will soon expand their coverage.
At a time when over half of the annual pregnancies in the U.S. are unintended, it is more important than ever that barriers to contraceptive services are eliminated. Fifty-eight million women of child-bearing age find it difficult to control their reproductive options and protect their health, a situation that is made worse by the unwillingness of many insurance companies to cover contraceptives.
The top five methods of reversible contraception -- oral contraceptives, IUD, diaphragm, Norplant, and Depo-Provera -- are covered by only 15% of all typical large-group plans. Almost half do not routinely cover any contraceptive methods. An inadequate 39% of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) cover all five methods, while only 18% of Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) do. The vast majority of insured persons are in either HMOs or PPOs. As a result, sexually active women are forced to pay more - up to 68% more - out-of-pocket for their health care than men pay. The denial of this basic health care component results in some women choosing less expensive, often less reliable, forms of contraception.
In an attempt to remedy this inequity, the bipartisan Equality in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage (EPICC) Act was introduced in the last two Congresses (S.1200, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and 31 co-sponsors, with H.R. 2120, sponsored by Rep. Jim Greenwood (R-Ohio) and 25 co-sponsors). EPICC would require insurance plans that cover prescription drugs and medical devices to also cover prescription contraceptive drugs and devices. This would eliminate gender-bias in coverage, while also giving women access to effective contraception. The bill was buried in committee in both the 105th and the 106th Congresses, but will be reintroduced in the 107th.
The rest of the good news is that twenty-one states already have passed EPICC-type legislation that requires coverage by private insurance companies. The more states that adopt such legislation, the more likely it is that Congress will move in this important direction. A federal statue would ensure uniform coverage for everyone who is privately insured.
Act Expands Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment
The Breast and Cervical Cancer Act of 2000, H.R. 4386, was sponsored by Reps. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), Pat Danner (D-Mo.) and Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.). The act, which passed Congress late last year, represents an important milestone in the fight for adequate medical coverage for low-income and uninsured women. Noting the cost of $995 million over ten years, President Clinton announced that the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) will be releasing guidelines for all 50 states.
The Breast and Cervical Cancer Act will enable states to provide coverage for critical treatment services for women who have been diagnosed with cancer through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. This program provides breast and cervical cancer screening to over 360,000 women annually who do not have access to screening. However, despite this program, thousands of diagnosed women face financial barriers to care, and those that receive coverage often donít receive the full cost of care.
The act would provide immediate, comprehensive health insurance to low-income, uninsured women who have breast and cervical cancer, giving them a chance at beating the disease. States would have the option of providing a full Medicaid package, with enhanced Federal matching, allowing women to receive critical health services, laboratory services and palliative care services as well. States would also be able to allow health care providers to provide diagnosed women with critical health care services, even though they may not be enrolled in Medicaid.
The increased funding will also benefit state screening programs. States would be able to augment the funds that the screening clinics already receive, resulting in a substantial increase in the number of mammograms and pap smears that could be performed. This important provision would give low-income, uninsured women access to greater early-detection programs, enabling them to obtain diagnoses at an earlier, more treatable, stage.
Action Needed: Encourage health care officials in your state to take advantage of the $995 million that is allocated for services under the Breast and Cervical Cancer Act of 2000. Ask them to pursue implementation of the program following guidance from the Health Care Financing Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Human Rights, but No CEDAW
Advocating for the elimination of all inequity based on sex, the convention (which is like a treaty) has been ratified by 160 countries. In addition, 12 states, 11 counties, and 20 cities in the United States have advocated its support. But for almost two decades now, the Senate has failed to pass a resolution recommending its ratification. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), an avowed opponent of women's rights, has made a conservative cause of keeping it locked up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he again is serving as chair.
Women members of Congress and their allies have made numerous attempts to move it out of committee by resolution (e.g. S. Res. 279), but all of those efforts have failed. But, now that there are 13 women in the Senate, CEDAWís prospects may be improved.
A serious difficulty that must be addressed when -- and if -- the convention is considered by the Senate involve the constraints posed by multiple Reservations, Declarations and Understandings (RDUs). These RDUs seriously undermine the meaning and intent of the convention ≠ essentially, by stating that the United States does not have to change any of its domestic laws to be in accord with provisions of CEDAW. Adoption of the proposed RDUs, even if CEDAW is ratified, would signal a wholesale rejection of any true commitment to women's rights.
There are eight RDUs proposed to be attached to CEDAW. But the U.S. has failed to ratify even with these crippling RDUs -- and is the world's only industrialized power that has not ratified. It takes a two-thirds majority vote, or 67 Senators, to recommend to the president that the Convention be ratified. Three separate analyses by international law experts and by the NOW Legal and Education Fund, have been conducted of the Reservations, Declarations and Understandings. In all cases, the findings were that the RDUs are unnecessary and undesirable, with the exception of one pertaining to free speech.
Nevertheless, NOW is advocating for increased pressure on the administration to drop the paralyzing RDUs and to ratify the Convention in its entirety. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. Until CEDAW is ratified, women must continue to wonder when the justice will bend towards them.
Action Needed: Contact your Senators to urge them to move forward with a hearing on ratification of CEDAW and urge them to drop the undesirable Reservations, Declarations and Understandings. Ask lawmakers at the local, county and state levels to sponsor resolutions in support of ratification.
In the wake of last October's World March of Women 2000 (which was sponsored in the U.S. by NOW), there has been increased interest in conditions affecting women in other countries -- particularly women in developing nations.
More efforts are being made to combat violence against women in other countries. The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has launched a new publication, "With an End in Sight." Describing international efforts against gender-based violence, the book details efforts in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Gender-based violence affects women of every class, ethnicity, nation, and religion. It causes more death and ill-health in women between the ages of 15 and 44 than malaria, traffic accidents, and cancer combined. Although it may seem like an insurmountable problem, women are finding solutions one by one.
From building partnerships with police officers in Cambodia to creating new traditions that eliminate female genital mutilation in Kenya, women all over the world are taking steps to improve their lives, and the lives of their daughters. UNIFEM has created the Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence Against Women to help organizations that address gender-based violence. This year the Trust Fund awarded $1 million to projects in 21 countries. Although it is far short of the $12.5 million requested, the Fund is a crucial step in recognizing the problem, and is taking small steps to eradicate it.
The United Nations Population Fund has also released a document, "Lives Together, Worlds Apart: Men and Women in Times of Change," that highlights the differences in the global experience of men and women. The report makes the case for bringing the problem of gender inequity into the mainstream and treating it as a matter of urgency. It found that more equal power relations between men and women, combined with access to good reproductive care, would save the lives of hundreds of thousands of women. The equity of women is also integral to economic development and it is increasingly understood that a balanced relationship between men and women is the basis for strong families and healthy societies in an increasingly globalized world.
Action Needed: The full reports cited above can be downloaded from the U.N. Population Fund website at http://www.unfapa.org or from Unifem at http://www.undp.org/unifem
A Child Care Victory -- More Funding!
The state of New York illustrates the great failings in child care provision. In 1997, the Public Advocate interviewed parents in a welfare-to-work program in New York City, asking about child care provision. Almost half of the women surveyed received no assistance in finding child care, and most had to rely on informal child care. More seriously, almost half of the parents were told that they would be sanctioned if the lack of child care caused them not to fulfill work requirements. This is against federal regulations, and punishes already desperate parents.
Advocates tried to remedy these problems by increasing federal funds. Unfortunately, negotiations over funding for child care were sidelined in October. Republican leaders in the House of Representatives backed away from an agreement to increase funding to these programs. A large step back from President Clinton's promise to increase funding to a full $1 billion, the withdrawal was met with outrage from child care/education advocates.
However, several Senators -- Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and Jim Jeffords (R-Vt.) among them -- and the President continued to advocate for increased child care funding, while Sens. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Tom Harkin (D-S.D.), and Representatives John Porter (R-Ill.) and David Obey (D-Wis.) worked diligently on the Appropriations Committee to advance the issue. The support of these officials and the efforts of grass roots organizations ensured that funding was finally increased, as promised.
On Friday, December 15th, child care advocates won an unconditional victory. Almost three months after FY 2001 began, Congress agreed to a total of $2.196 billion in new child care spending! These funds will cover child care, Head Start programs, community learning centers, child care educator programs, and campus-based child care.
The budget includes funding for the following:
Despite our overwhelming success in increasing child care funding, there is still much progress to be made. During his campaign, former Vice-President Al Gore advocated one of the more progressive platforms. He called for the implementation of a $50 billion plan to provide preschool to nearly every four-year-old. A voluntary proposal, Gore's plan would budget $2,700 for every child, requiring the states to match the funding. He predicted that, by 2005, 75% of youngsters would be enrolled in preschool. This program would have provided essential early childhood development services to three million four-year-olds. Any extra funds under this proposal would have been allocated to teacher training and improving school safety.
In the meantime, the National Coalition of Women's Organizations (NCWO) Child Care Task Force, in which NOW participates, is backing a series of proposals to strengthen child care and Head Start programs, including a significant increase to the Child Care and Development Block Grant, a $3 billion investment in Early Learning Programs, and a $400 million expansion of funding for 21st Century Learning Centers, among other initiatives.
The Task Force is also drafting a Worthy Wage bill, to improve the education and earnings for child care workers, who often work for less pay than parking lot attendants. Participants in the program must stay in the child care field for a minimum of one year. They would receive stipends twice a year, and should be enough to encourage qualified caregivers to stay in the field, and to offer caregivers an incentive to increase their training (the size of the stipend would increase with additional education). The legislation provides for a graduated state match, and equal distribution among all geographic regions.
Some states are moving ahead to improve child care programs. North Carolina offers effective models in programs which subsidize the cost of additional training and reward providers for having attained higher levels of education.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services could also be doing more to assist parents in need. HHS should collect data on a state-by-state basis on how many eligible parents do not have access to child care. They could also contact the governments of the more negligent states to urge them to expand services and urge them to use unspent TANF (welfare) funds to better respond to the need for child care. HHS should be taking a more active role in ensuring that parents and children have access to the services they need.
Action Needed: Only pressure from activists and constituents can help accelerate the trend towards more and better child care services. As the NCWO Child Care Task Force (in which NOW is an active partner) moves forward, we will share our proposals and recommendations with both lawmakers and activists. So stay tuned!
This week, the House Judiciary Committee will again take up bankruptcy "reform" legislation. Last Congress, a regressive bankruptcy bill passed both the House and Senate (S. 3046/H.R. 833), but a conference committee version failed to gain approval. At the time, President Clinton was threatening a veto because, among other reasons, the bill did not contain the clinic violence amendment introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) that would make judgments resulting from clinic terrorism non-dischargeable.
House abortion rights supporters want to offer a stand-alone bill (based on the Schumer amendment) that would close loopholes in federal bankruptcy law that currently allow clinic violence defendants to declare bankruptcy in order to avoid paying fines, damages and other fees to plaintiffs. The measure would also be offered in the larger bankruptcy bill which, unfortunately, will likely again contain many provisions harmful to women and low income persons facing financial difficulties.
Action Needed: Patricia Ireland, NOW's president, will be leading picketers at the Department of Justice at noon on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14th, and we encourage activists in other communities are encourage to do the same in front of a local federal office building. Some feminists are planning to send Valentines to their elected officials, urging expansion of the hate crimes law and support for the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act.
There is a crisis in our nation's criminal justice system, produced by so-called "get tough" approaches to drug-related crimes. The exponential growth of the prison population, especially among women prisoners, is causing much grief to their families and dooming many to grim futures. Women of color, in particular, have been imprisoned at high rates and there is mounting pressure for a complete overhaul of drug and sentencing policies. The following story, though very dramatic, is typical of the experiences of a number of young women caught in the drug trade because of violence from their abusive partners.
The only child of a successful Richmond, Va. couple, Kemba was a coed at Hampton University, in the Norfolk, Va. area. Smith became involved with Peter Hall, a violent ringleader in a $4 million drug ring. Hall beat Kemba on numerous occasions, sending her to the hospital and causing her to suffer a miscarriage. Hall actively alienated Kemba from her family and threatened her life. After Hall was murdered, perhaps by a co-defendant, prosecutors targeted Kemba and pinned the full scope of his dealings on her -- despite their admission that she was not directly involved in any drug dealing. She pleaded guilty to dealing crack-cocaine, money laundering, and lying to authorities in exchange for a promise of lenient treatment, yet she was blamed for activities that took place even before she had met Hall. Kemba never actually handled or used the drugs she was accused of dealing, a fact which prosecutors admitted. 23-year-old Kemba Smith got 24 years in prison, and became yet another woman to fall victim to an abusive partner and a negligent system.
Kemba joined the 65% of minority women in jail who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse. Women are generally over-represented among low-level drug offenders with no criminal record. Yet they often receive excessive sentences under mandatory sentencing policies that are on par with those of drug kingpins. The needs and psychological damage of battered women are frequently not acknowledged in the courts. It is very difficult for women to leave the kind of situation in which Kemba found herself. With few resources, no familial support, and emotional damage inflicted by the abuse, Kemba was just as much a prisoner in her relationship as she was in jail.
Thankfully, the case of Kemba Smith ended well: on December 22, she was granted a pardon by President Clinton, and was able to spend Christmas with her family. Kemba is one of the few lucky women who through the ardent efforts of her parents and hundreds of supporters was able to gain the Presidentís attention. Thousands of other similarly situated women remain behind bars under these wasteful and unnecessarily punitive policies. Also, see http://www.sentencingproject.org and other sites that advocate for reform of drug policies.
This Legislative Update was compiled by the Government Relations/Public Policy Team at the NOW office. Questions? Call Jan Erickson, Government Relations Director at (202) 628-8669, Ext. 101. To receive free copies of any bill, call your U.S. Senator or Representative at (202) 224-3121 or connect to the Website for Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov. This Update is mailed monthly to the NOW leadership. Any NOW member can receive it by mail for an annual subscription fee of $25. Join our Action Alert email network, which also receives the Update electronically, by sending the message subscribe now-action-list to email@example.com.
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