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Bill Would Restore Cancer Screenings For Poor Women

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A bill supporters say is essential to women's health is awaiting a decision by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It would fully restore a program that provides free cancer screenings to low-income women.

— A bill supporters say is essential to women's health is awaiting a decision by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It would fully restore a program that provides free cancer screenings to low-income women.

The Every Woman Counts Program offers breast and cervical cancer screenings to poor women statewide. More than 6,000 women in San Diego County use the program annually.

Late last year, the governor made some changes to save money. He raised the minimum age for eligibility for mammograms from 40 years old to 50. He also froze enrollment in the program.

The legislature has unanimously approved a bill that would reverse those changes.

Supporters say early detection of cancer is key to surviving the disease. They say screenings of low-income women ultimately save lives, and save the state money.

The program is funded by a combination of state and federal dollars.

The governor hasn't said whether he'll sign the bill.

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