Yesterday evening.

The Department of Health, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2

Members of the Love Both Campaign claiming that since January, Minister for Health Simon Harris has tweeted or retweeted on the Eighth Amendment 134 times and just once on the trolley crisis.

They are calling on the Minister to “get his priorities straight” ahead of the forthcoming referendum to remove the Eight Amendment from the Constitution.

Meanwhile: ‘Irish Times’ poll: Public favour repeal of Eighth despite slip in support (Irish Times)

Sam Boal/RollingNew

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99 thoughts on “Priorities

    1. Janet, I ate my Avatar

      I cannot trust myself to comment on these articles
      I find it so hard to stay polite

  1. well

    Brainwashed kids and whatabouttism .
    The trolley crisis is a hard problem that will probably outlast Simon, yes he could be doing more on it but..
    A yes vote in the referendum will be a quick and easy fix to a problem faced by every woman in this country.

          1. Rob_G

            That seems to only allow for an abortion in the case of a risk to the mother’s life. I am not sure that a hypothetical pregnant 12 year-old who did not present with suicidal tendencies would necessarily be able to avail of a termination under it.

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        That’s a horrible thing to say. Seriously.

        Abortion is never ‘a quick and easy fix.’

        Who exactly are you to dismiss the decisions of countless women as a fcking fix? You’re every bit as bad as the people you claim to oppose for having those abortions.

        1. newsjustin

          You’ll note the sarcasm in my post Mildred. I don’t believe abortion is a fix, never mind a quick and easy one for anything. That’s why I responded to well’s post.

          I agree with you. Abortion is not a quick and easy fix. It is a brutal, archaic procedure that has no place in a civilised society – outside of grave situations where a mother’s life is at risk.

    1. david

      And tell me ,where will they be able to cope with the abortions ,surly these women will have to wait in line ,they cannot take preference in front of people waiting for hip replacements mental health issues operations for cancer etc.
      I would say a woman facing crises will be on a nine month waiting list for an appointment.

      1. Nigel

        That’s what happens to all women who get pregnant. They’re put on years-long waiting lists. You fool.

      2. painkiller

        David, I think you know how this will go….here is no way the existing maternity services will want to take responsibility as far as their job descriptions go, so to avoid unrest you could see state-subsidised private clinics where you’ll be able to get a refund if your provide a receipt to prove travel costs incurred.

  2. Spud

    Choose life…
    But why would I want to do a thing like that?
    I chose not to choose life.
    I chose somethin’ else

  3. mildred st. meadowlark

    I’m no fan of the #loveboth crowd, but in fairness the have a point.

    That said, twitter is hardly an arbiter of the work done by Simon Harris and his bunch of lads. He would hardly tweet about the trolley crisis because there’s literally no good PR in that. Still, no excuse is it?

    1. painkiller


      It’s good to see someone concede the point – because 15 years ago, a politician of his populist caliber would have been on the No side and that would have been equally objectionable.

  4. Yep

    Fair point. Considering the problems in nearly ever aspect of our health service, how much investment will be needed to provide the necessary facilities if it passes?

    I support repealing and understand cost shouldn’t really be a factor, but just wonder if it has ever been priced.

    1. well

      I imagine it’s cheaper than woman being forced through months of maternity care for a fetus she knows will die a birth.

  5. missred

    Yeah….. in a few weeks’ time this won’t be a relevant point…. so their argument, while technically correct, is pretty weak and pointless.

  6. DepthChargeEthel

    Fixing micro (yet hugely important) health issues can only have a positive knock on effect on the macro health system. Change is incremental. We need to Repeal the 8th and legislate then move on to the next issue. The crisis in hospitals will likely never be solved by one government administration term, not with all the other crises going on concurrently: homelessness, housing, media, money and business corruption etc

  7. Ron Dolan

    As if the love both crowd give a poo about born children.

    How is the Church getting on with the damages owed to their victims of rape, sexual abuse and slavery?

  8. Anne

    Yeah Simon sort yourself out. What are you at caring about women and trying to improve their healthcare.

    1. painkiller

      He doesn’t. It’s an utterly insincere populist stroke to distract people from focusing his actual responsibilities as Minister for Health….

      1. Alastair

        Abortion provision is a healthcare issue. Just ask the NHS. And abortion is not a political vote winner – it’s too contentious and eaten bread is soon forgotten by those who do support it. Hence why politicians took ten years from the Supreme Court decision to get to this point.

  9. TheRealJane

    Yeah, but just think, without bed blockers like women being kept artificially alive or strapped to gurneys and force fed, it’d probably be much better.

    Also, in fairness to Simon Harris (and I don’t say that lightly), the capacity problems were intractable before his time and he’s not going to be able to solve them unless he manages to build at least four new hospitals around the country. An impossibly while taxpayers are prioritising tax cuts.

    1. david

      And all the women having abortions ?where will they be kept ,?
      We have no abortion clinic’s in Ireland, we have no staff for them either.
      So will they be preferential, over those on waiting lists.?
      No one,, has worked that one out ,?
      Will these abortions be carried out on the national health or will there be a waiting list.
      Will the savita’s that cannot afford the termination be given one ,?
      will they be waiting for an appointment for the skilled abortionist to carry out the procedures?
      These new clinics, will they be built out of the HSE budget?
      Will the beds be found for the patients?
      Sure look how long its taken for the national maternity hospital to be even given the go ahead and when it was planned ,there was no abortion on demand, so where will they be carried out, in the car park?

      1. newsjustin

        Don’t worry David.

        If the referendum passes and if legislation passes that allows for abortion passes, once the Government runs into difficulty with GPs not wanting to facilitate abortions and barely a GP in the country with the equipment to date a pregnancy, the Government will scramble and flounder about for a while before Marie Stopes and BPAS ride in on white horses to save the day and open specific centres for abortion. Their senior management and Irish business development managers are already putting in the legwork to get a toehold in the market.

        So don’t worry David.

        1. david

          I have to chuckle
          You hope
          We are talking Ireland and how many decades for a national maternity hospital
          As for Marie stopes clinics and brexit
          Planning permission will dictate and staffing ?
          Also the women who cannot go private what about them?
          I can see it the rich getting the service and the poor just like savitas but this time dying because they wait for an appointment
          I doubt boy Harris has even started to realise the complications ahead

          1. ReproBertie (SCU)

            One of the reasons for the 12 week limit is that after 12 weeks abortions are surgical. Prior to that it’s a pill meaning people needing an abortion will require a visit to their GP and then, as per the proposed legislation, a second consultation. Even the Irish health service can handle that.

        2. painkiller

          Marie Stopes was a eugenicist:

’s not just a small detail. I’m not attacking her, but this just the ethos of abortion on demand. Marie Stopes provide their services without an advance consultation to ensure the patient is 100% confident in taking responsibility of terminating the life of unborn.

          1. painkiller

            @ReproBertie – just to clarify the context of my arguments I am inclined to Yes but I see grey areas (and am slightly alarmed by the strength of consensus on Broadsheet that the unborn is like a growth that should be considered for removal). Simon Harris wouldn’t be behind Repeal if the responsibility were to fall on HSE staff so it’s fair to say that Marie Stopes will be licensed in Ireland if Repeal happens. While they help a lot of people, I would have concerns about their business ethics – lack of due process. That is to say, there are potential policy mistakes with this.

          2. ReproBertie (SCU)

            Whether Marie Stopes is likely to be licenced to operate in Ireland or not is hardly a reason to be concerned about voting for Repeal. Abortions up to 12 weeks are a matter of taking a pill. That’s handled by a GP visit or the likes of the Well Woman Centre, for example. That won’t put much of a strain on the HSE.

  10. Joe Small

    Reminds me of Micheal Martin – brought in the smoking ban, which was great – but did feck all else while the HSE burned up around him. Minister for Reports.

  11. Sentient Won

    Wow. You Repealers are such a nasty bunch.

    Anybody who doesn’t immediately jump on your baby-killing bandwagon is considered sub-human and fit for abuse.

    Meanwhile, even your fake news polls can’t hide the fact that the momentum in this thing is not going your way.

    Save the 8th.

    Vote No.

    1. david

      The repeaters have not even thought this through
      Maybe Simon Harris the baldrick of health should reveal how the state will cope with the near on quarter of a million waiting for operations a bed a consultant etc
      There are no abortion clinics and no planning applications
      So where will these abortions be carried out
      Will they be carried out over and above the thousands of children needing operations
      Or the thousands of old people waiting for treatment.
      Will clinics get planning without objections.
      The rich will have no problem but can you imagine a person with a medical card?
      Where will they hire the nurses from?
      The surgeons from ?
      The consultants from?
      I also assume there will be a problem forcing a doctor who is pro life from terminating a life
      If they do and what about their right to their moral code?
      Will they be sacked?
      Will they be hired?
      Will they face jail?
      Will when being hired ,be prejudiced against?
      Will there be a massive case brought that will cost the state millions of euro in compensation.

      1. ReproBertie (SCU)

        Ignoring most of your cart before the horse nonsense I want to address one statement (and the ridiculous follow up questions).

        “I also assume there will be a problem forcing a doctor who is pro life from terminating a life”

        The proposed legislation clearly allows for conscientious objection.

        “Conscientious objection
        15. (1) Subject to subheads (2) and (3), nothing in this Bill shall be construed as obliging any medical practitioner, nurse or midwife to carry out, or to assist in carrying out, a termination of pregnancy referred to in Head 4(1), 6(1) or 7(1) to which he or she has a conscientious objection.
        (2) Subhead (1) shall not be construed to affect any duty to participate in a termination of pregnancy referred to in Head 5(1).
        (3) A person who has a conscientious objection referred to in subhead (1) shall, as soon as may be, make such arrangements for the transfer of care of the pregnant woman concerned as may be necessary to enable the woman to avail of the termination of pregnancy concerned.”

        This link has been posted for you several times but you still insist that the information it contains doesn’t exist.

        1. david

          Here we have it the reason why the Irish cannot be trusted to do anything correctly
          Its like the life of Brian and not thought out
          No one can actually say exactly how this will be managed
          All my questions raised and not one person can answer them
          If abortion on demand is passed the outcome will be a disaster
          Sure no one can agree on a national maternity hospital and look how long it took to now get the billion euro pie in the sky
          The only thing that will be certain private hospitals will open up for those who can pay and those who cannot will be left in limbo
          A two tire abortion on demand and as usual the poor can go swing
          And to achieve this they need the majority to vote yes so only the privileged can avail of this life saving amendment
          The repealers have been found out and they are hopping mad

          1. ReproBertie (SCU)

            I have answered it several times.

            Abortion up to 12 weeks is a GP visit and a pill.

          2. david

            But Bertie its not just 12 weeks
            Its abortion on demand
            And you cannot say that abortions after 12 weeks will be performed
            The whole business has not been thought out and the only protection for the unborn is to be removed with a promise nothing more and believe me abuses can happen and I can see it all now with a government which are incapable of providing health housing broadband and heavens forgive brexit being in complete control of the rights of the generation yet to be born
            To ne honest they have done enough damage to the living so far
            Once this protection is removed from our constitution the people are helpless to ever reverse it

          3. ReproBertie (SCU)

            An abortion after 12 weeks requires 2 medical practitioners to agree there is a threat to the life or health of the mother. This is covered in the proposed legislation linked above which you clearly still haven’t bothered to read.

          4. david

            we are talking women health not an alternative to contraception and ensuring disabled are not born
            The mask is slipping nigel

          5. ReproBertie (SCU)

            After 12 weeks it will be decided on a case by case basis. How many post 26 week FFAs do you think will be needed in Ireland? You seem to believe this will be enough to clog up our health service so please elaborate on the numbers.

    2. david

      Pretty nasty people
      But sadly the crash created a nation of very nasty people
      Ron Dolan the pro life lot do not care about live children
      What a creep

      1. Nigel

        You said a group of repeal activists looked ‘retarded.’ You also claim to be concerned about disabled children but you casually used a slur against the mentally disabled. Repealers have little to teach you about nasty.

        1. david

          Just look at the photos and the faces which I was referring to, on the registered strand?
          Now look at the dignified faces on this strand.
          This not about Facebook selfie ,or a pop concert or introduce a catchy phrase, or selling tulips for some cause.
          This is about a very serious matter and as such demands a respectful manner in which to behave
          The expressions on the faces are totally disrespectful
          We are talking about taking the life of the unborn and that is no laughing matter
          And to repeat this again its the facial expression of a retarded person .
          I have a mentally handicapped nephew who would at times make a face totally innocently like those on the photo
          For someone who is supposed to have the cop on to realise what this is all about its totally inappropriate and quite disgusting
          For one who lectures you seem to be totally ignorant and frankly out of line ,and your response is to pick apart someone latching on to anything to discredit humiliate insult and instead of using a rational argument to make your point., shows your ineptitude,

          1. Nigel

            You have a handicapped nephew and ypu throw that word around as an insult? What the hell is wrong with you? You should be ashamed of yourself.

      2. david

        Back to Galway the hospital that refused to give the termination.
        You have just stated a Pandora’s box that is exactly what is going to open
        So women in Galway will possibly be visiting a hospital that will sign their death sentence
        A lottery regarding where you live with this PC bullocks

    3. mildred st. meadowlark

      I think newsjustin’s “quick and easy fix” comment sums up your lot pretty well actually, so you may climb down off your self-righteous high horse.

          1. newsjustin

            It certainly can be. As you know it can prevent ovulation, but it can also prevent the implantation of a fertalised ovum.

    4. painkiller

      eh, have a look in the mirror…if ignorance and intolerance is what irks you.

      Simon Harris IS using this for political gain. It happens to benefit the Yes side but that does not make it right or acceptable. And if we get abortion on demand, he’s going to find himself holding a very hot potato…but he thinks in weeks, not months and likes to be down with the “in crowd” if in doubt..

      1. david

        They really have not thought this out.
        post abortion on demand which will break the health service and in order to facilitate the savita’s with no money.
        So we remove the eight amendment and let these idiots to create a worse situation
        And the legal implications
        You can actually hear the solicitors gearing up for a massive Orgy of millions upon millions of euro in legal bills, when the legal writs start for unfair dismissal, and women suing because the hospitals with prolife beliefs will not or cannot hire people prepared to carry out abortions
        Then the compensation claims when the savita’s with no money are prejudiced against because they do not have the money to pay for an instant private abortion, and have to wait for an appointment in public health
        As baldrick said to black adder I have a plan ,a plan so cunning and devious that if you put a tail on it you could call it a weasel

        1. ReproBertie (SCU)

          How will having to visit a GP to get a pill break the health service?

          You cleary think very little of women if you think there’s going to be a massive strain on the health service from women looking for abortions.

          1. david

            At twelve weeks it takes a lot more than a pill
            Try suction
            Then after that forceps and all sorts of things

          2. ReproBertie (SCU)

            You’re wrong. The director of the IFPA was talking about it on the The Eighth podcast. I’ll take his word over yours any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

            Medical abortion at 12 weeks. Google it, as you’re so fond of saying.

          3. david

            Bertie we do not know exactly the laws
            So please stop
            We could see abortions up to 26 weeks or maybe later in the case of fatal foetal abnormality and that’s for the ones that can afford
            My point is they are not telling us exactly what is to follow and you cannot deny that after 10 weeks it takes more than a pill
            Try a bit of machinery like a vacuume cleaner(sorry for the crude description)

          4. ReproBertie (SCU)

            The proposed legislation is there for all to see. If it is amended during the Dáil debates I doubt it will be to give easier access. Who’s campaigning for that? So we’re looking at 12 weeks which, despite your disbelief, is a matter of taking a pill. Have you googled it or do you prefer to deny the reality so that you can try and shock people?

          5. david

            After 12 weeks ?
            We are talking women health
            Your mask is slipping
            I can see already a free for all and abuse of terminating life
            And you guys are so busy in knee jerk reaction you have not even stopped to think of the disaster to come

          6. ReproBertie (SCU)

            You can keep saying it’s not a pill all you like but it won’t change the simple fact that abortions up to 12 weeks are medical abortions administered via a pill. The truth is on plenty of web sites but feel free to keep denying it. It really helps your argument.

        2. TheRealJane

          Savita’s (sic) with no money?

          Despicable. The worst of it is that you’re apparently proud of it. I assume you repeated it because you’re actually thrilled with what you imagine is mighy satire.

          1. david

            There will be many savita’s with no health insurance and only a medical card
            So what?
            A two tire abortion service
            The ones who can pay get the service
            The ones who cannot wait?
            Despicable or not I am right
            So address the subject and get down to the reality
            You want the people to remove the eight for a two tiered abortion on demand

          2. SOQ

            This is all very reminiscent of the equal marriage debate on here where the same 2-3 characters repeated the same old bigoted nonsense no matter what reasoned logic was presented to them. And if they couldn’t answer they just moved to a new thread and started repeating it all again.

            The really disingenuous part of all of this is that the anti abortion argument is primarily a Catholic one and yet, not one anti Choice person claims to be a Catholic. The brand really is that toxic.

        3. Frilly Keane

          Jesus Christ david
          “Savita’s with no money”

          And I thought ye couldn’t go any lower than depicting a rape victim

          I was wrong

          Ye have no sense of decency, humanity, charity, compassion or caring
          Yet ye fill yere speeches
          And plaster the public spaces
          With words like
          Love Care Compassion

          david, you and your comrades shouldn’t be let near anyone
          ‘naw mind this protection of life and the child ye rabbit on about

          Ye’re thugs with no sense of empathy or morality
          And when ye get yere comeuppannce
          It won’t be pretty
          Or discreet
          It will be loud, exploited and gorey – just like yere campaign
          And I promise ye I will squeeze every bitta satisfaction I can out’ve yere mortification

          1. david

            Tell me then with the state of our health the ones with no money how they will access the services promptly
            Where are the staff going to come from
            Tell me?
            You are great at calling all that disagree monsters but you like us have no clue about how this will be implemented for all
            Will the poor be given abortions in corridors on chairs
            Over 500 waiting on trolleys , hundreds of thousands waiting for health care
            That is the reality
            Meanwhile we have a minister of health presiding over a disaster pushing for another ill thought out disaster to cripple health
            The resource is not there and its like the layabout collecting children allowance then going down the pub buying drink far all

          2. Vanessa Foran

            For your information David, I actually can.

            All Maternity Care in Ireland is provided as a Statutory Right, and is Free. Regardless of means, and regardless of whether the pregnant patient has private insurance and or a medical card or neither. Regardless of their employment status, their relationship status, their family situation, their faith (or not) as the case maybe, even their accommodation – in a Trophy Home or In a Doorway.

            I am very proud of the fact that all patients of the Voluntary Maternity Hospitals in Ireland are entitled to receive the same standard of Health Care. I am even prouder of the fact that the best Free Maternity Care in World is in an Irish Teaching Hospital. Likewise with Special Needs, High Risk Pregnancies, Neo-Nat and Special Care Units. Of course you might say “I would say that” and seek to strip it apart, nonetheless I stand by it

            Save for this one absurd Article. An Article framing what should only be a matter for the patient and their Medical Professionals.

            To remove any opportunity for Whataboutary; of course there are options from which Patients can select the manner and style of their appointments and accommodation. Patients can opt to be treated Privately, Semi-Privately or Publicly. Thankfully none of these have anything to do with you.

            I do try and not get too engaged on the main Board too often, however your remarks are just too craven to ignore. I simply could not allow a comment like “Will the poor be given abortions in corridors on chairs” go quietly. Rich or not so Rich is not a criteria now, so your endeavor to insert it as a consequence to Repealing the 8th Amendment is misguided and misinformed; and thoroughly misleading and false.

            So please refrain in harassing and tormenting pregnant women like this.

            Enjoy the rest of your weekend

            Vanessa E Foran

          3. david

            Sivita was not raped
            The point is now we accept abortion on demand we now see the reality
            No money no health care of these women just a seat and a waiting list
            So these who want to remove the eight so that can have abortion on demand want the poorer people to vote for something that they will find hard to access unless they have private or deep pockets
            And I am not talking about the twelve week pill
            How many on medical cards are waiting for endoscopy to see if they might have cancer.?

          4. Vanessa

            Again you are floating incorrect information Sir.
            There are no Obstetric waiting lists in any Irish Maternity Hospital. Clearly you were incapable of absorbing fact. Nor are there any patients waiting on Trollies.
            On occasion you might find a queue outside Admissions or a busy waiting room.

            Maternity care in the Republic of Ireland is a Statutory Right, and available free to all.
            Like your local National School and like the Childrens Allowance your own mother collected.
            I hope those simple examples help you out.

            Pregnancy is a matter for Maternity Hospitals and Units, and their patients in the main are Women. newborn baby Boys the other. Please do not cluster problems seen in General Hospitals into your attempt to bully pregnant Women. It is reckless behaviour and your trolling is in fact bullying pregnant Women.


          5. david

            Again Vanessa misses the point.
            Firstly she stated savita was raped, she was not and the maternity hospitals might be able to cope at the moment but post abortion on demand the thousands of women seeking abortions will have them at home or will be looking for them at home

  12. david

    Apparently I have ruffled quite a few feathers over the delivery of abortion on demand for the poorer
    Tragedy hits all rich and poor but saying this ,if you are dependent on this state with no private health cover, you are dependent on public health to save you, and frankly its a disaster
    This is the problem with our health simply cannot cope ,it fails every day
    By bringing abortion on demand and anyone needing a surgical procedures will find unlike being in a VHI advert they will find the hospital trolley scenario
    The delinquent health service which is the HSE cannot even hire staff needed hence the hundreds of thousands of public patients waiting and waiting and waiting.
    We are constantly told how so much money is being injected into this monster with no accountability
    I see the rich will get all the services but the poorer will not.
    So where will these abortions be carried out?
    They have not even published any strategy or plan or facts apart from remove the eight amendment and leave it to us to bring in legislation laws and frankly they cannot be trusted
    Say no and send it back then they can inform us with a plan and something that has been properly thought out, and then when we know exactly what will replace the eight we can vote as informed adults for a proper system that will no longer have savita’s dying
    The only hope for a fair system for all is by blocking this two teir abortion on demand referendum

    1. Nigel

      Apparently you are both Wrong and Lying, but the upshot of your argument is that women should just carry on being denied access to health care, suffering through FFAs and pregnancies that result from rape or going to the UK for abortions and even dying until david is satisfied that the healthcare system is fixed to his satisfaction. Thus david is complicit in attempting to prolong the legacy of the same people who he describes as carrying out a ‘holocaust.’

  13. ReproBertie (SCU)

    Ah david, you are as wrong as you are persistent.

    There will be no two tier health service for abortion. Since most of the Irish women seeking abortions now are within the 12 weeks we can expect the majority of women seeking abortions after we repeal the 8th will see their GP and another doctor and be given and abortion pill and a follow up appointment, irrespective of their personal wealth.

    Feel free to come up with another ridiculous fantasy about this referendum. So far you’ve given is the “they won’t tell us what will replace it” lie, the “I can hear the lawyers gearing up for an orgy of legal cases” fantasy about conscientious objectors and now the “the health service won’t be able to handle all the surgeries” nonsense about something that doesn’t require anything more than a pill in the vast majority of cases and now the “poor people won’t be able to afford private health care and will be left on waiting lists” gibberish, to say nothing of the “Galway hospital death camp” you tried to throw in as well.

    Throw enough muck is a strategy that might work if you weren’t tossing out such easily refutable doomsday scenarios.

  14. Frill the 8th

    I’d say every one’ah the No Níl Nah crowd are mad for mass this morning
    Their knees will be black and blue with all the praying they’ll be at for this thead to fall off the top Sheet ‘most commented’

    I’m going to do my bit now and retweet it
    Maybe Broadsheet can keep plugged into other threads via the Related Posts tab

    Everything the NoNíl Naw crowd are at;
    Lies, misinformation, bullying, desperate reaching, creative writing, singling out the poor, spreading ignorance, flaming and stereotyping. Including trying to shove the word rape into someone’s month, and using a dead woman as a weapon. And generally just proving exactly what they all are.
    Is within this tread
    Well done david. On behalf of pro- choicers everywhere, many thanks.

  15. Vanessa Foran

    David: Re: Your Posting, above: April 21, 2018 at 10.12pm

    I might not be everyone’s cup of tea here, and while always being open to correction, what comments I make, I stand behind. Whatever the forum, platform, or context.

    I take my integrity as well as my independence and opinion very seriously. Therefore I cannot allow you tag me with lies and falsehoods in order to allow you enhance your own arguments or position, on anything.

    In short; how dare you or anyone else declare I said or wrote what you taped to me in that above mentioned post.

    I must insist on a complete apology both from you and from the organisation you act for.

    I expect it to be and read in full on the next Broadsheet Broadcast, in addition to being published here.

    I am deeply offended that you assumed you could say such a thing and not expect any recoil from it.

    Vanessa E Foran

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