Cheryl Sullenger

Courts continue glacial pace as Kansas abortion clinics run amok

Cheryl Sullenger
By Cheryl Sullenger

Topeka, Kansas, August 1, 2012 (OperationRescue.org) – The State of Kansas will ask for summary judgment at a hearing on Friday, August 3, 2012, in a suit brought by Kansas abortionists challenging a clinic licensing law passed last year.

“We will be watching that hearing very closely,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue and Pro-Life Nation. “Given the history of abortion abuses in Kansas, the enforcement of the new law cannot come soon enough.”

Pro-life groups in Kansas have been trying to pass clinic licensing requirements since 2003 in order to add a layer of protection for women seeking services at abortion clinics that have never been inspected or accountable to any safety standards.

But for years, during the radically pro-abortion administrations of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who now serves the Obama Administration as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and her hand-picked successor, Mark Parkinson, common sense regulations meant to protect women from exploitation by unaccountable abortion clinics were repeatedly vetoed even though they had the overwhelming support of the public and the State Legislature.

Under the Sebelius/Parkinson administrations abortion clinics ran amok while they were politically shielded from accountability under Kansas law.

Finally, a sweeping change in the composition of state government in 2010 enabled the long-sought clinic licensing legislation to be signed into law. Just as the law was to go into effect, it was blocked by a Federal Court judge in a case filed by abortion clinics that have histories of resisting oversight and engaging in abortion abuses.

“This is a case of the inmates running the asylum,” said Newman. “Abortion clinics have been caught red-handed breaking the law or admitting to abuses, yet they have managed to keep the authorities, who have the law on their side, on the defensive.”

The court delays have been insufferable. The challenge was first filed in Federal Court in June, 2011, where the court blocked enforcement of the law. When it appeared that the Federal Court would not rule in their favor, the abortion clinics involved in the case dropped their Federal suit and refiled in state court. This reset the case and caused almost a year of delays.

Regulating abortion clinics

Clinic licensing and safety regulations have been passed in several states, including more recently Virginia, Maryland, and Mississippi. In Pennsylvania, several abortion clinics closed rather that bring their clinics up to standards when inspections conducted after an 18-year hiatus discovered massive deficiencies. Such inspections, like those required by the Kansas law, have been found to be constitutional and a vital function of the state, which is tasked with the duty to protect the public’s health and safety.

A requirement that abortionists maintain local hospital privileges has passed Constitutional muster in Missouri, yet remains inexplicably under injunction in Kansas.

There are three abortion clinics left in Kansas and each has its own set of problems, which abortion clinic licensing will only partially address.

Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood

The largest abortion clinic in Kansas is Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood. In 2003, it came under investigation for failing to report child rape. In May, 2009, Operation Rescue again documented Planned Parenthood’s willingness to ignore suspected child sex abuse. Yet, political interference ensured that Planned Parenthood was never charged.

In 2007, Planned Parenthood was finally charged with 107 criminal counts related to illegal late-term abortions and manufacturing evidence to conceal their crimes. The case languished in the State Supreme Court for years on Planned Parenthood appeals. Last fall, it was revealed that evidence critical to the state’s case was shredded under the Sebelius administration without notice to the appropriate authorities, causing the judge to dismiss the most serious charges. However, 58 criminal counts remain pending. Just three weeks ago, District Attorney Steve Howe announced that he had lost his expert witness in the case and was struggling to replace him. A status hearing is set for August 20, 2012, with no trial date in sight.

After five years, District Attorney Howe, who was a political rival of the prosecutor who initially brought the charges, has failed to bring the criminal case against Planned Parenthood to trial.

“Howe’s lack of will to prosecute crimes against Planned Parenthood is more than troubling and may be motivated by political animosity against his predecessor,” said Newman. “In the meantime, Planned Parenthood is making a monkey out of him. It’s embarrassing.”

This case only serves to re-emphasize the need to enact clinic licensing and safety requirements that are enforceable by medical regulators who understand that patient safety should come before politics. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood remains out of control and unaccountable.

Central Women’s Services, AKA Aid for Women

Earlier this year, a confidential informant leaked documents to Operation Rescue from Central Family Medical, also known as Aid for Women, that indicated the abortion clinic had illegally dumped private patient medical information and bloody refuse from abortions. Additional documents indicated that the Kansas City abortion clinic never reported incidents of suspected abuse. Videos taken outside the clinic showed women who were unable to walk without assistance being dangerously released after abortions.

Operation Rescue filed complaints with various state agencies demanding an investigation and enforcement of Kansas laws. While the Kansas Board of Healing Arts was quick to launch such an investigation, the Attorney General’s office has remained disturbingly unresponsive.

“It has been three months since we reported the violations at Central Family Medical and revealed the fact that disgraced abortionist Malcom Knarr, whose medical license was revoked for dangerous abortion practices in 1994, owns and operates the clinic. Yet it continues to operate doing business as usual. It appears that there is no sense of urgency to protect women from this predatory abortion business,” said Newman.

Central Family Medical was the first clinic denied licensure before the Court halted enforcement. It has joined with abortionist Herbert Hodes in his suit challenging the law.

Center for Women’s Health

The father-daughter team of abortionists, Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser, originally brought suit to block the new clinic licensing law, refusing to submit their Center for Women’s Health abortion clinic to state inspection.

Hodes is no stranger to headlines in the Sunflower State.

According to the Wichita Eagle, Hodes testified on March 9, 2011, before the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs. The Eagle reported, “[Hodes] estimated that Kansas has seen ‘five deaths in the last five years’ because of abortion procedures.” Hodes later changed his tune and denied any abortion-related deaths occurred during that time span after his comments prompted demands from Operation Rescue that the Attorney General’s office investigate the spate of unreported abortion deaths.

Hodes and AFW also were part of a Federal lawsuit tried in 2006 challenging the state’s mandatory child abuse reporting requirements. They argued that abortion clinics should not be required to report suspected cases of child sex abuse when girls under 14 come to them for abortions. While initially the judge ruled that abortion clinics could report at their discretion, a change in the law later rendered that absurd ruling moot.

Other Kansas abortion abuses

The Kansas State Board of Healing Arts revoked the license of abortionist Ann Kristin Neuhaus last month after it was determined that she had for years improperly referred women for late-term abortions for mental health reasons after conducting negligently inadequate patient interviews that she attempted to pass off as mental health evaluations. The revocation was the result of a complaint filed by Operation Rescue. The abortion clinic she worked at had no oversight nor had it ever been inspected to ensure compliance with Board regulations or other laws.

The license of another Kansas abortionist, Krishna Rajanna in 2005 after it was documented that he ran a filthy abortion mill that was so nasty that one police detective later testified before the Legislature about the horrific conditions he experienced. The clinic had never been inspected and would still be operating if not for pro-life activists who documented and exposed the filth.

Operation Rescue’s own headquarters is now located in a former abortion clinic where appalling conditions existed, including mold and pest infestations, leaky roof and plumbing, a clogged drain in the room where abortion equipment was washed, and dangerously out of code electrical. It operated for 23 years without a state inspector ever darkening its doorway.

Need for another enforcement avenue

Gaining enforcement of the law by elected politicians in abortion-related cases has always been the weak link in Kansas, with the exception of former Attorney General Phill Kline.

“Politicians as prosecutors have never worked well in Kansas,” said Newman. “They either protect the abortion clinics as their ideological soul-mates or are too concerned about their political careers to aggressively take on the abortion cartel. Either way, they have left vulnerable women open for exploitation by abortion clinics that have been able to so far get away with defying the law.”

Clinic regulations would add another avenue of enforcement by regulators that have the legal authority to close dangerous abortion clinics that cannot or will not comply with the law. That is a level of oversight that has never existed in Kansas.

“We are praying the State’s motion is successful,” said Newman. “Women in Kansas simply cannot afford the risk to their lives and health that comes with more delay.”

Take action

Operation Rescue continues to ask the public to express concerns to District Attorney Steve Howe, asking him to aggressively prosecute Planned Parenthood.

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe
Voice: (913) 715-3000
E-mail: [email protected]
The public is also encouraged to contact Attorney General Derek Schmidt and ask for an investigation into complaint against Central Family Medical for the non-reporting of abuse and other violations.

KS Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt
Voice: 1-888-428-8436
Fax: (785) 296-6296
E-Mail form: Click here

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Federal court says NY allowed to ban ‘Choose Life’ plates as ‘patently offensive’

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By Ben Johnson

ALBANY, NY, May 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The pro-life message can be classified as “patently offensive,” a federal appeals court ruled last week. The new opinion came as a three-judge panel ruled that New York state was right to reject a “Choose Life” license plate on the grounds that it may grate on New Yorkers' political sensibilities.

The judges split on whether New York could deny a pro-adoption group the right to have its own license plate, although the state has in the past allowed plates endorsing political causes associated with the liberal viewpoint, such as environmentalism.

Judge Rosemary Pooler, who was appointed by President Clinton, wrote that the state's denial did not harm anyone's right to freedom of expression, because drivers “may display a ‘Choose Life’ bumper sticker — or even cover every available square inch of their vehicle with such stickers. That message will resonate just as loudly as if vehicle displayed a ‘Choose Life’ license plate.”

Judge Debra Ann Livingston, a President George W. Bush appointee, wrote in her dissent that “a proposed custom plate depicting a sun and two smiling children, and bearing the words, ‘Choose Life’ [thought] to be ‘patently offensive’” was “surprising.”

“Pro-adoption organizations should have the same speech rights as any other organization. While the district court affirmed this basic freedom, the circuit court denied free speech in favor of government censorship,” said Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel at ADF. “The state doesn’t have the authority to target The Children First Foundation specialty plates for censorship based on its life-affirming viewpoint.”

The ruling is the lastest round in a legal battle that has raged for more than a decade and, pro-lifers say, seen state officials repeatedly suppress their First Amendment rights.

The Children First Foundation applied for the specialty license plate in 2002, but state officials say the message and design was “too controversial.” In 2004, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on CFF's behalf.

New York's Department of Motor Vehicles repeatedly denied the “Choose Life” license plates on the grounds that the message was “patently offensive.”

The same appeals court rejected an effort to suppress the plates made by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and agreed that Albany officials denied the plates based on viewpoint discrimination.

In 2006, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals noted that CFF “specifically alleges that defendants denied the picture-plate application ‘based on their disagreement with [the] life-affirming viewpoint expressed on the plate.’”

“On a motion to dismiss, we must accept this allegation, and all reasonable inferences drawn from it, as true,” the judges ruled.

Spitzer, a Democrat who strongly supported abortion-on-demand and gay “marriage,” served as governor beginning in 2007 but resigned his office in the midst of a prostitution scandal only 15 months later.

In November 2011, a federal court ruled that “New York has run afoul of the First Amendment by giving the Commissioner unbridled discretion to engage in viewpoint discrimination.”

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Yet the case has dragged on through the appeals process.

“The state has wrongly gotten away with speech discrimination against our client for more than 10 years,” Tedesco said after last week's ruling.

He said ADF is considering its next legal move.

As of this writing, “Choose Life” license plates are available in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

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Michael Coren stands outside St. James Anglican Cathedral as he prepares to be received into the Anglican Communion on April 19, 2015. Anglican Diocese of Toronto / Facebook
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‘Official’ Catholic newspaper defends running pro-abortion piece by Michael Coren

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By Pete Baklinski
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MUENSTER, Saskatchewan, May 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- The Prairie Messenger, described as the "official Catholic newspaper for western Canada," is defending the publication of a piece last week in which ex-Catholic author Michael Coren openly advocates for abortion in the case of rape while saying the notion of “criminalizing abortion” is “repugnant.”

In his piece titled "Seamless garment," Coren — who recently left the Catholic Church to join the Anglican Communion over Catholic teaching on homosexuality — writes that the 10-year-old Paraguayan girl who seized international headlines after becoming pregnant by rape should be legally allowed to abort her baby.

“A terrified little girl victimized by those around her and forced by a government to give birth to the child of her rapist? That is not justice, that is not life, that is not right. God must be weeping,” he writes.

Criminalizing abortion, Coren writes, would “give state legitimization and authority to a minority view and what is to a very large extent a particular religious teaching.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church takes a different position, however. In paragraph 2273, it states that “as a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights." Catholic teaching holds that every human life is sacred since it comes from God. There is no exception for rape. 

For many years, Coren was one of the most prominently pro-life broadcasters in Canada. Calling himself a “journalist for life,” he wrote a column for The Interim, Canada’s life and family newspaper, and was a frequent paid speaker at pro-life events. The Prairie Messenger column appears to be the first time that he has publicly renounced his pro-life position.

Prairie Messenger: “We live in a diverse society where the challenges of daily living cause people to be confronted with difficult circumstances in a world where nothing is black and white."

Rebecca Kiessling, founder of Save The 1, told LifeSiteNews that she was disgusted to see an article in a Catholic newspaper that supports abortion. Kiessling, who was conceived by rape, is a public advocate for those targeted for abortion because they were conceived in rape.

“We are also told in Deuteronomy not to punish a child for the sins of the father and we are not to shed innocent blood. Doing so goes against every concept of justice. I did not deserve the death penalty for the crimes of my biological father. There is a misplaced compassion when anyone wants to kill the innocent child. Punish rapists, not babies,” she said.

Monica Kelsey, who was also conceived in rape, told LifeSiteNews that she was “deeply saddened to hear about Christians standing for the killing of an innocent child.”

“We all agree that this is a situation that deeply saddens us all, but killing this young woman’s child is not going to unrape her. It will further victimize her and, in the process, kill an innocent child.”

“As a child conceived through a brutal attack and rape where my birth mother almost died, I am deeply saddened that Mr. Coren is making an exception for this precious child's life, simply because his father is a rapist. God can get this 10-year-old child through this tough time, but why compound the issue with an abortion? This girl needs us to walk beside her, loving her and helping her make an adoption or parenting plan,” she said.

"This is a life, this is justice for this child. Saving this pre-born child's life is the right thing to do,” she added.

Dolores Castellanos, the doctor who is monitoring the 10-year-old girl in Paraguay, has confirmed that the pregnancy is developing without affecting the health of the infant or the little girl. Nevertheless, the international abortion lobby has latched onto the case as an opportunity to force the small South American country to change its pro-life constitution which currently protects life from the moment of conception.

Prairie Messenger is a weekly Catholic newspaper published by the Benedictine monastic community at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan. The Diocese of Saskatoon, the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface, and the Archdiocese of Regina are among those that promote the newspaper.

When LifeSiteNews asked Prairie Messenger News Editor Rev. Peter Novecosky, OSB, why it ran a piece from an ex-Catholic who advocates for positions at extreme odds with clear Catholic teaching, spokesperson Maureen Weber responded: “Because we have much to gain by listening to the voices of others.”

“To carry only Catholic columnists who repeat the catechism would mean never hearing and acknowledging the voices of those who are living the hard realities of life on the peripheries, as Pope Francis puts it. Other columnists present other viewpoints that reflect these difficult life issues. Our readers can address these issues when they are presented and, as thinking adults, they need to do more than repeat rote answers.”

Weber said that the editors of Prairie Messenger “refuse to see abortion as a single issue, but rather, as a seamless garment of protection for all of life, both the unborn and the born, support for women, for work toward alleviating the poverty that leads so many women to make desperate decisions, restorative justice rather than harsh sentences with no possibility of rehabilitation, defence policies, health care, policies on the disabled, the aged, euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

“We live in a diverse society where the challenges of daily living cause people to be confronted with difficult circumstances in a world where nothing is black and white,” she said.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, criticized in 2013 those who champion the Church’s moral vision as a “seamless garment” while ignoring actual occasions of real injustice.

“The ‘seamless garment’ image was used to great effect to root the Church’s response to various moral issues — from nuclear proliferation to poverty — within the overarching teaching on the sanctity of human life, from natural conception to natural death,” he said.

“Unfortunately, however, it is also true that the image of the ‘seamless garment’ has been used by some theologians and Catholic politicians, in an intellectually dishonest manner, to allow or at least to justify turning a blind eye to instances of abortion, contraception, or public funding for embryonic stem cell research, as long as these were simultaneously accompanied by opposition to the death penalty or promotion of economic development for the poor - issues which are also part of the fabric of Catholic moral teaching,” he said.

The Prairie Messenger, which acts as the newspaper for a number of dioceses in Western Canada, has faced criticism in the past for opposing Catholic teaching.

In a July 2004 Catholic Insight article titled “A flawed stewardship,” Joe Campbell of Saskatoon, SK, called the Prairie Messenger’s editorial stance “disappointing” for taking what he called a “cafeteria approach to teachings on faith and morals, accepting some while rejecting others.”

Campbell criticized then-editor Rev. Andrew Britz, OSB, for failing to support Church teachings on issues such as the male priesthood, contraception, fornication, and homosexuality.

“Not only has Fr. Britz failed to support certain teachings, but he has repeatedly challenged them. He has managed this in three ways: through his editorials; through regular columnists he has retained; and through unbalanced coverage of certain events and issues,” he wrote at that time.

Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, told LifeSiteNews that a Catholic publication should publish what the Catholic Church teaches.

“Why they would allow this to be published is certainly beyond me. I think it behooves a Catholic publication to stand-up for what the Church actually teaches. Without some counter argument in defense of Church teaching right along side this piece, I think it's wrong to run something like that,” he said.

Contact info for respectful communcations:

Diocese of Saskatoon (home of Prairie Messenger) 
Bishop Donald Bolen
Ph: 306-659-5824 ext. 824
Email: [email protected]

Prairie Messenger 
Rev. Peter Novecosky, OSB
Ph: 306-682-1772
Email: [email protected]

Archdiocese of Saint Boniface
Most Rev. Albert LeGatt, DTh
Ph: 204-237-9858
Email: [email protected]

Archdiocese of Regina
Archbishop Daniel Bohan
Ph: (306) 352-1651
Director of Communications
Bobbi Yanko - ext 230
Email: [email protected]

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Lisa Bourne

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BREAKING: Dutch bishops’ aid group funding Planned Parenthood, Marie Stopes

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By Lisa Bourne

May 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Cordaid, the Dutch arm of the Vatican’s charitable umbrella Caritas Internationalis, is openly promoting contraception and says access to birth control is vital for the good of women in developing countries. The group has also given money to leading international abortion providers Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International.

Cordaid defended itself when questioned by LifeSiteNews. Calling itself a “proud member” of Caritas Internationalis, a representative said that “access to affordable and good-quality family planning and sexual and reproductive healthcare are crucial to strengthening the position of women in developing countries and to lowering the rate of unwanted pregnancies.”

A new report by the Lepanto Institute details evidence of numerous violations of Church teaching from Cordaid's own website.

In 2012 Cordaid started a program called “Making sexual and reproductive health services work for the next generation” in Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cordaid: “Access to affordable and good-quality family planning and sexual and reproductive healthcare are crucial to strengthening the position of women in developing countries and to lowering the rate of unwanted pregnancies.”

“There is a clear need for sex education and contraception in the African Great Lakes region,” Cordaid wrote of the program. “Its aim is to provide a better future for young generations, reduce childbirth mortality among women through more effective family planning and alleviate poverty among families.”

It began another contraception program the following year in Burundi, Congo, and Rwanda. A Cordaid program distributed condoms in the Congo in 2012, and another worked to provide condoms and other contraceptives in Malawi in 2013, while a third provided condoms in Sierra Leone in 2011 and 2012.

The Cordaid website also shows that it gave the Philippines Planned Parenthood affiliate €220,491 in 2013 for a teen sex ed program, and partnered with another affiliate in Sierra Leone in 2013 and 2014. Cordaid gave a Marie Stopes affiliate over half a million Euros in 2013 to provide birth control, including sterilization.

Cordaid is not only a member but also a co-founder of Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican’s coalition of Catholic relief, development, and social service organizations. There are 165 members in some 200 countries and territories across the world, and Cordaid is Caritas Internationalis’ local affiliate for the Netherlands.

The head of Caritas Internationalis was released from her position in 2011 amidst internal changes requested by the Vatican, prompted by concerns over the development agency’s Catholic identity. The following year Pope Benedict XVI ordered a reform of Caritas Internationalis.

The Lepanto Institute’s Michael Hichborn criticized Cordaid’s open flaunting of its membership in Caritas Internationalis while obviously disobeying Church teaching.

"With Cordaid boasting its proud membership in Caritas Internationalis while simultaneously fully admitting to dispensing contraception and funding Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International, Caritas has an obligation to expel Cordaid from its rosters," he told LifeSiteNews.

Responding to LifeSiteNews’ inquiry into the report’s specifics, in addition to stating that women benefit from “family planning” services and expressing importance in reducing “unwanted pregnancies,” Cordaid insisted it is not involved in providing abortion.

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“Cordaid's instruments of family planning and sexual and reproductive healthcare do not include abortion,” the relief group said.

Cordaid also said it had the esteem of those with whom it collaborates. “Our partners, governments and our funding partners respect the way we, as a proud member of Caritas Internationalis, fulfil our role to build bridges between faith based and non-faith based organizations in north and south.”

“The catholic social teachings are the fundament of our identity and work,” the group added. “The fundamental elements of the catholic social teachings, subsidiarity, solidarity, bonum com unum and human dignity, inspire and guide us in our mission to build flourishing communities in the world’s most fragile and conflict affected areas.”  

LifeSiteNews sent inquiries to Caritas Internationalis regarding Cordaid’s activities in conflict with Church teaching, and did not receive a response before press time.

Hichborn decried the thought of Catholics in the Netherlands funding anti-Catholic initiatives. "Are the bishops of the Netherlands aware of what Cordaid is doing?” he asked. “Do Catholic parishes in the Netherlands take up collections for Cordaid? The Catholic faithful need to be made aware of what is happening in our Church."

Cordaid’s full statement to LifeSiteNews:

As a Catholic organization, Cordaid has long experience in healthcare in developing countries, especially sexual and reproductive healthcare.

In our programs one of our aims is to build bridges between citizens and governments, partners in the North and partners in the South, and bring together both religious and non-religious organizations.

Our long experience has taught us that good, complete and timely information and access to affordable and good-quality family planning and sexual and reproductive healthcare are crucial to strengthening the position of women in developing countries and to lowering the rate of unwanted pregnancies. Cordaid's instruments of family planning and sexual and reproductive healthcare do not include abortion.

Our partners, governments and our funding partners respect the way we, as a proud member of Caritas Internationalis, fulfil our role to build bridges between faith based and non-faith based organizations in north and south. The catholic social teachings are the fundament of our identity and work. The fundamental elements of the catholic social teachings, subsidiarity, solidarity, bonum comunum and human dignity, inspire and guide us in our mission to build flourishing communities in world’s most fragile and conflict affected areas.   

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