Ben Johnson

2012 ELECTION RESULTS -  continuous updates

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LifeSiteNews.com is committed to bring its readers the latest information on the presidential race and other key races in the United States. This will be continually updated until the final result is known. All times EST.

11:18 p.m.: Obama has been projected the winner of Oregon—no surprise—and also Iowa. The president began his unlikely ascension to the Democratic nomination in 2008 with the Iowa caucuses. The electoral vote is now 264-210 for Obama. Florida also looks likely to be an Obama pick-up.

11:14 p.m.: Barack Obama has won the state of Ohio, with its 18 electoral votes. This makes his re-election all-but certain.

11:09 p.m.: Mitt Romney won the state of Missouri and its 10 electoral votes. The state is, next to Ohio and Florida, is one of the most evenly divided swing states. The Show Me State split its ticket, re-elect Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill over Todd Akin. Republicans siphoned off resources earmarked for that campaign to Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin and Josh Mandel in Ohio, both of whom also lost their respective races.

11:00 p.m.: President Obama will carry California, Washington State, and his boyhood home of Hawaii. Mitt Romney will carry the swing state of North Carolina, which Obama carried in 2008. Obama hoped to repeat, holding the 2012 Democratic National Convention—dubbed “abortionpalooza”—in Charlotte. However, his opposition to the state’s constitutional amendment defending marriage, opposition to ObamaCare, and his ties to unpopular Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue cost him the state. Romney also carried the deep-red state of Idaho. Obama is now decisively in the lead where it counts, the Electoral College, 240-193.

10:55 p.m.: Tea Party champion Allen West has a narrow lead. With 90 percent of the vote counted, West leads Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy 147,138 to 145,305. The freshman Congressman spoke at this year’s March for Life.

10:52 p.m.: Barack Obama carries heavily Democratic Minnesota, another state Republicans optimistically believed they could flip. The state’s 10 electoral votes nearly tie the race.

10:49 p.m.: Romney leads the popular vote in North Carolina and Virginia. Colorado looks pivotal.

10:44 p.m.: Mitt Romney has carried the state of Arizona with its 11 electoral votes. That breaks the electoral tie, at least temporarily.

10:42 p.m.: Alabama voters have voted to nullify ObamaCare, passing Amendment 6, which forbids the government from compelling anyone to purchase health insurance.

10:25 p.m.: The Electoral College vote is tied again at 163-163, as Barack Obama is projected to win New Mexico. The state has drifted further into the Democratic column, largely keeping pace with its growth from immigration. Former Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate and a former Republican, is currently taking nearly three percent of the state’s vote.

10:05 p.m.: Romney will win Utah and Montana. Neither state’s choice was in doubt, particularly Utah. Although the state has the highest concentration of Mormons, it is also among the most conservative states in the union. In 1992, Bill Clinton finished third, behind George H. W. Bush and Ross Perot. Minnesota’s vote looks ready to place the state in Obama’s column, which is also not surprising. Romney currently maintains a narrow electoral majority.

9:55 p.m.: New Hampshire has been called for Barack Obama, giving him four more electoral votes. New Hampshire was one of my states to watch. The trend does not bode well.

9:50 p.m.: Democrats continue to win Senate races, shutting out the GOP in Ohio (Sherrod Brown over Josh Mandel), Wisconsin (Tammy Baldwin over Tommy Thompson), Massachusetts (Elizabeth Warren over incumbent Scott Brown), New York (Gillibrand over pro-life champion Wendy Long), and Florida (Bill Nelson over the commendable Connie Mack).

9:45 p.m.: With nearly 70 percent of the vote reported, the state of Florida is tied. Obama is leading by less than 2,000 votes. Two counties in the Florida panhandle—Santa Rosa and Holmes—have not reported any votes, and Romney will win both handily. However, only 15 percent of the votes in heavily Democratic Miami-Dade County have been counted, and Obama could easily make up the deficit.

9:35 p.m.: Indiana’s U.S. Senate seat goes to Joe Donnelly, beating Richard Mourdock after the latter said a child conceived from rape is “something God intended.” Donnelly has campaigned as a “pro-life Democrat” and is endorsed by Democrats for Life of America. However, he voted for ObamaCare, which subsidizes abortifacient drugs and has a $1 abortion deductible. Republicans will, however, retain control of the U.S. House.

9:31 p.m.: President Obama has kept Wisconsin in the Democratic column. The home state of Paul Ryan made some believe the GOP could contest the state. However, it has narrowly favored the Democratic candidate for several presidential elections. The Electoral College is now nearly tied, 154-153 for Romney. Obama picks up three “swing” states in MI, PA, and now WI.

9:17 p.m.: Officials have called Pennsylvania for Barack Obama. The state, with a heavy Catholic electorate (nearly one-third by some accounts), has dashed Republican hopes. The GOP made attempts to win the state in the last several elections without success. Obama was speaking about Pennsylvanians when he made his remarks about people bitterly “clinging to guns, or religion.” The state’s declining population means Obama picks up only 20 electoral votes.

9:12 p.m.: Chris Matthews once said the Republican electoral map looks like an “L” from the upper Midwest through the deep South. That pattern holds again.

9:09 p.m.: Despite Romney’s family ties and a hopeful Republican campaign in the state, Michigan remains in the Democratic column yet again. Romney was born in the state, maintains a home there, and his father was a long-serving, popular governor. Romney picked up the second-largest state in the union, Texas, while Obama won the third largest, New York. Romney also continued to pile up votes in Louisiana, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Nebraska, one of two states that splits its electoral votes, will give most of its votes to Romney. Maine will give most of its votes to Obama. Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Colorado are too close to call. The electoral count now favors Romney 153-124.

8:55 p.m.: Election returns show Barack Obama with a large lead in Ohio and Florida, while Romney leads in Virginia. These are partial results. Florida looks particularly good for Romney, as portions of the panhandle have not yet reported, and they will favor Romney heavily. With little of the raw data in, Romney is faring surprisingly well in the D.C. suburbs at this point. However, Obama did better than anticipated in some areas of rural Ohio.

8:44 p.m.: Linda McMahon is 0-2 in her Senate bids, losing to Democrat Chris Murphy. McMahon ran in 2010, losing to Richard Blumenthal after his embarrassing debate performance. McMahon is by all accounts likeable and competent. The WWE wrestling CEO, who is Catholic, has twice run as a pro-business, pro-choice Republican who favors certain restrictions on abortion.

8:36 p.m.: Commenting on the Arkansas returns, former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee credited evangelicals and values voters for Romney’s staunch stance. He said, “Chick-fil-A was dress rehearsal for today.” He added, “One of the things I wish Mitt had done was reach out even more” to evangelicals. “They’re not so much with him” as “scared of another four years of Barack Obama.”

8:31 p.m.: Arkansas has been called for Mitt Romney. Arkansas last went Democratic for its own governor, Bill Clinton. The Solid South has never seemed more impenetrable. Romney now leads Obama in electoral votes 88-75.

8:18 p.m.: Mitt Romney pulls ahead once again by winning Tennessee’s 11 electoral votes. The Volunteer State’s vote was never contested. Romney now leads 82-75. Either candidate must get 270 electoral votes to win. It will be a long night.

8:15 p.m.: Here’s something to watch: New Hampshire. Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are the largest toss-up states. However, New Hampshire is a small state. Once reliably Republican where the endorsement of The Union Leader held sway, refugees from high-tax neighbors Vermont and Massachusetts have made NH more of a national bellewether. If Romney wins, it bodes well for Florida and Ohio.

8:08 p.m.: The presidential race tightened considerably at 8 p.m., when a large group of northeastern states threw their support to President Obama. The region is the most liberal and the least religious. Obama has won Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. He has also picked up New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and his former state of Illinois. He has officially won D.C., as well. Mitt Romney has won Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. In 2008, Obama did not carry a single county in Oklahoma. The Electoral College vote now stands at Romney-71, Obama-75.

8:01 p.m.: The largest group of states have closed their polls. Sixteen states, including Florida and Pennsylvania, have settled. Washington, D.C., has not yet been called but will certainly go for Obama. The District of Columbia has never voted for a Republican candidate.

7:57 p.m.: Early results show Romney pulling ahead in Virginia. However, the D.C. suburbs, including Fairfax and Loudon counties, have yet to report.

7:51 p.m.: Mitt Romney continues the Republican hold over the South, winning Georgia’s 16 electoral votes. The electoral vote now stands at 49-3.

7:40 p.m.: Mitt Romney has won South Carolina, a solid red state with the nation’s highest concentration of veterans. Its nine electoral votes bring Romney’s total to 33.

7:31 p.m.: Mitt Romney is the projected winner in West Virginia. The Electoral College total is now 24 for Romney vs. 3 for Obama. West Virginia, long a Democratic stronghold, has trended increasingly Republican in the presidential race since the Bush years. President Obama’s threats to “bankrupt” the coal industry cost him its support in the 2008 primaries and in both the last two national elections.

7:30 p.m.: Polls are now closed in Ohio. At this time, Ohio, Virginia, and New Hampshire are swing states that are too close to call.

7:19 p.m.: Vermont, a Democrat-dominated state represented in the U.S. Senate by a socialist, has been called for Barack Obama. Obama now has three electoral votes.

7:00 p.m.: Mitt Romney has been declared the winner of Indiana and Kentucky. Indiana, which President Obama unexpectedly won in 2008, has 11 electoral votes. Kentucky has eight. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

‘It’s another boy!’: 4th video goes into heart of Planned Parenthood fetal body parts lab

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

Urgent: Sign the petition demanding that Congress investigate and defund Planned Parenthood here

July 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Workers in a lab are seen sorting through body parts on a dish: a heart, stomach, kidney, and legs.

And then a medical assistant suddenly announces: "It's another boy!"

This is just a little of the macabre and heart-wrenching footage in the newest undercover video showing alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood, released Thursday morning.

The newest video also shows a Planned Parenthood medical director negotiating a fetal body parts deal while agreeing to prices for harvested parts, and suggesting ways to avoid legal consequences.

"For anyone with a conscience, the video's entire fetal organ scene is wrenching -- to the gut as well as the heart. It hearkens us back to the days of Joseph Mengele or Kermit Gosnell, who both coldly killed and dissected children without remorse," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, in a press release.

The video takes the viewer into Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, where Vice President and Medical Director Dr. Savita Ginde discusses with actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs.

When one of the actors posing as a buyer asks the doctor if “compensation could be specific to the specimen?” Ginde agrees. As the camera travels to the abortion clinic’s pathological laboratory to reveal the aftermath of a real abortion of a baby boy, Ginde tells the buyer that the abortion clinic would rather receive payment per body part harvested, rather than a standard flat fee for the entire case.

“I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it,” she is heard saying on the video.

Planned Parenthood hit national headlines last month after undercover videos released by the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) showed top officials from the nation’s largest abortion provider discussing the sale of body parts harvested from babies aborted at their facilities. Those behind the undercover videos say that selling the body parts for profit is a violation of federal law.

Yesterday, the California Superior Court issued a narrow temporary restraining order preventing CMP from releasing further undercover video footage involving top-level staff of StemExpress, the company that purchases the body parts from Planned Parenthood. 

Project Lead David Daleiden is using the fourth video to call for an immediate ending to Planned Parenthood’s funding.

“Elected officials need to listen to the public outcry for an immediate moratorium on Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding while the 10 state investigations and 3 Congressional committees determine the full extent of Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby parts.”

“Planned Parenthood’s recent call for the NIH to convene an expert panel to ‘study’ fetal experimentation is absurd after suggestions from Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Ginde that ‘research’ can be used as a catch-all to cover-up baby parts sales. The biggest problem is bad actors like Planned Parenthood who hold themselves above the law in order to harvest and make money off of aborted fetal brains, hearts, and livers,” he said. 

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"It really stretches credibility to say that Bush or his people wouldn’t have known that the foundation pushes abortion and other population control efforts," said Stephen Phelan of HLI Andrew Cline / Shutterstock.com
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

Jeb Bush was director of philanthropy that gave tens of millions to Planned Parenthood

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

Analysis

NEW YORK, July 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - Until the eve of his presidential campaign, Jeb Bush was director of a philanthropy that gave tens of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood and financed its advocacy of "unrestricted access to abortion" around the world. The charity also approved money to global abortion providers while he sat on its board.

In 2010, Jeb was named one of the founding directors of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, established as a tax-exempt foundation to advance the vision of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He resigned from the board at the end of 2014 to prepare his presidential campaign.

While a Bush spokesman has responded to concerns by saying that Bush would not have voted on every initiative of the foundation, a pro-life leader told LifeSiteNews it "stretches credibility" that Bush was unaware of the foundation's pro-abortion work, given the centrality of such work to the foundation's mission, and its scope.

LifeSiteNews reached out to Bush for comment, but did not hear back by press time. 

$50 million to 'reproductive health' and Planned Parenthood

In March of 2014, the Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $50 million undertaking to expand "reproductive health," including lobbying foreign nations to loosen restrictions on abortion.

Bloomberg announced a major partnership with Planned Parenthood-Global to train and equip abortion activists in pro-life countries.

"In 2014, we started supporting local nonprofit organizations in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda, and Nicaragua to advocate for better policies in their countries that will expand access to comprehensive reproductive health services," the foundation stated. "These organizations will receive technical assistance from Planned Parenthood Federation of America – Global Division to help augment their capacity for effective advocacy." 

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards greeted the news by saying that "governments need to play a stronger role to ensure that all women have access to the health care they need" - including abortion - "no matter who they are, no matter where they live.”

Bloomberg clarified how the partnership would work while receiving Planned Parenthood's Global Citizen Award at its annual gala last March 27.

"We'll Push for Less Restrictive Abortion Laws"

"I am happy to say our major partner in this project will be Planned Parenthood - Global," Bloomberg said. "In some countries, our funding will help advocates work towards better sexual health policies for teens and better access to contraceptives. In others, we'll help push for less restrictive abortion laws and more government funding for high-quality, accessible services."

Such advocacy was "necessary," he continued, because "there are plenty of outside interest groups funding the other side of these issues, and we cannot let them go unanswered."

"This is a fight to women control their own destinies," Bloomberg said. "And let me tell you: We are in it to help them win it, and we're gonna stay in it until they do."

"Together we can succeed," he concluded. "Thank you for this award. God bless."

As head of a foundation with $5.4 billion in assets, which awards more than $200 million a year, the three-term mayor of New York has put his money where his mouth is.

Funding Global Abortion Providers

One aspect of his philanthropy's overall health initiative is to underwrite  "reproductive health services in the most remote areas of" Tanzania. Although all grants say they are intended "to reduce maternal deaths," alongside the CDC and the World Lung Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies has funded two abortion providers.

In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies approved a  a grant of $1,818,000 for EngenderHealth, and another $250,000 for Marie Stopes International - Tanzania.

"EngenderHealth works to ensure reproductive rights of Tanzanian women and their families by integrating family planning with HIV and comprehensive abortion care services," the group states on its website. EngenderHealth has been discovered promoting the use of manual vacuum aspiration (MVA), a common abortion method, as "post-abortion care" in Africa, including in Tanzania.

The group also touts the fact that its expansion to all 26 regions of the country "has also contributed to an increase in uptake of long-acting and reversible methods," especially Implanon. Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) work both by preventing conception and by "alterations in the endometrium," which can cause an early abortion by preventing implantation.

Marie Stopes is known as a global abortion provider. MSI states that it only provides "post-abortion care" in Tanzania, where abortion is legal only to save the life of the mother.

But Marie Stopes officials have admitted that the group performs illegal abortions. 

"We do illegal abortions all over the world," Paul Cornellison, the director of Marie Stopes International in South Africa, said during a Marie Stopes International conference in 2007 in London - remarks that were caught on film. "There's various options, you know, once we open a center there...if we can just get our foot in the door." 

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In other nations, Bloomberg has supported advocates of unlimited, universal abortion-on-demand.

"Abortion services should be made free...for all women and girls"

Bloomberg Philanthropies underwrites political advocacy in African and Central American nations whose laws reflect the pro-life outlook of its citizens. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) offers a glimpse into what international abortion lobbyists demand.

Between 2012 and 2014, IPPF wrote a 32-page case study on the Senegalese legal landscape, entitled Over-Protected and Under-Served. While numerous participants told researchers that abortion is "easy" to obtain and “lots of young people are having clandestine abortions,” IPPF focused on promoting "safe" abortion -- while making clear that such laws were only one components of its overall mission. 

"Advocacy efforts should focus on realizing the ultimate goal of unrestricted access to abortion services, and protection of this right under the law. Abortion services should be made free, safe, accessible and confidential for all women and girls," the report states.

The abortion industry signaled it rejects incremental aims to achieve the eventual recognition of abortion as a human right. "Anything other than full decriminalization will often lead to abortion remaining inaccessible to all but a very small number of women," the report says.

The task of pressuring government officials will fall to local activists in the nations targeted by Bloomberg because, in the words of Kelly Henning, the head of the public health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, "We want this effort to be sustainable." 

If the effort fails, it will not be for lack of resources. In a separate component of its reproductive health plan, Bloomberg partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to enact Family Planning 2020's global reproductive and population goals.

Is Jeb "Ultimately Accountable"?

The association with Bloomberg conflicts with Jeb's record as a two-term pro-life governor of Florida who enacted parental consent laws, allowed the regulation of abortion facilities, did not allow state funds to be used for abortion counseling, and created the state's "Choose Life" license plate.

As one of more than a dozen directors - which include such distinguished names as former Sens. Sam Nunn and David Boren, currently Sen. Cory Booker, and former Bush-43 officials Elaine Chao and Hank Paulson - what responsibility does the former Florida governor bear?

The issue bubbled up in April, giving his yet-unannounced campaign an opportunity to respond.

“Governor Bush was honored to serve on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which does a lot of good work across the world,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told the Tampa Bay Times. "As a board member, Governor Bush did not vote on or approve individual projects or programs."

Although Bush and Bloomberg "disagree on several policy issues, both share a passion for improving education in America," she added - a reference to their mutual embrace of the Common Core curriculum and other policies.  

A spokeswoman for Bloomberg Philanthropies, Meghan Womack, confirmed to the newspaper that directors do not sign off on every project.

But to what extent was Bush active in the issue?

According to nonprofit norms, directors carry deep responsibility for the organizations they help lead. "Regardless of what board members are called, they are in essence the trustees in the literal and legal sense of the term," the National Center for Nonprofit Boards wrote on the responsibilities of board members. "No matter how the organization is structured or the degree of authority delegated to staff, committees, or affiliates, the board and therefore the individual trustees are ultimately accountable."

Bloomberg Philanthropies noted in a press release, "The directors will serve in an advisory and oversight capacity." Bush earned $37,100 in compensation for his nearly five years of service.

"Bush’s people are probably right that as a board member he did not vote on every project," Stephen Phelan, the director of mission communications at Human Life International, told LifeSiteNews. "But Bloomberg has been so open about his foundation’s goals for so long that it really stretches credibility to say that Bush or his people wouldn’t have known that the foundation pushes abortion and other population control efforts."

Bloomberg clarified his goals while accepting his Planned Parenthood award last year. "You can't fight every battle," he said. "The things that are high on my priority list are sensible gun laws...I obviously care about a woman's right to choose...Nobody's a bigger supporter of gay rights." He added that "we need a good immigration bill" that provides amnesty for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, "so we can continue our economy."

Bloomberg has described abortion as a "fundamental human right, elevating it to a make-or-break position. "On this issue, you’re either with us or against us.” He once cited abortion among his reasons for endorsing Barack Obama in 2012. 

Despite their differences on abortion policy, the billionaire has had no reservations supporting Jeb Bush's candidacy - even before there was one.

Last spring, he called Jeb and Hillary Clinton "two quality” candidates and "the only two who know how to make the trains run."

He also showered compliments upon Bush while introducing him to the New York State Republican Party convention in 2010. 

“I couldn’t agree more with this guy,” he said of Jeb. “If there’s anyone I would want on my side waging all those important battles and helping provide the government Americans deserve, it is our next speaker."

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John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

Planned Parenthood says ‘extremists’ brought down website: critics say possible ‘PR stunt’

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By John Jalsevac

Updated 07/30/15 at 1:57 EST

July 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - At the same time as a fourth video exposing Planned Parenthood's practice of harvesting and selling aborted baby body parts was released Thursday morning, visitors who attempted to access Planned Parenthood's website were greeted with a message saying, "Our site is not available due to an attack by extremists."

The page announcing the attack stated that "200,000 people a day are now being blocked from information and care by this attack," and directed visitors who wanted to find out more to Planned Parenthood Action Fund's Facebook page. 

At that Facebook page, the abortion giant states that the attack is a "new low" by anti-abortion extremists, and asks for donations to help them "fight back." 

However, some are raising questions about the purported attack, pointing out that a look under the hood shows that content from the site appears to be loading without a problem from Planned Parenthood's web server, while they have categorized the "site down" message as a "campaign."

At The Federalist, Sean Davis points out that the splash page also directs users to another page at ppaction.org where they can write their "story" about where they "stand" on Planned Parenthood, in the process of which Planned Parenthood collects their personal information.

"That’s right," says Davis. "Even though ppaction.org redirects to a page saying the site was hacked, the domain still house (sic) a perfectly functional URL and page that are being actively used to help build Planned Parenthood’s fundraising list."

Some hours after the original message was put up, Planned Parenthood changed the message to say simply that the website was "undergoing maintenance."

However, in comments to CNN Wednesday, Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president, said that the website was originally brought down briefly on Wednesday by a distributed denial of service attack. “Although our websites were back online shortly after the attack, in order to ensure that we are fully protected, we’ve made the decision to take our website offline for a day,” she said, according to Jezebel.

The alleged attack comes days after Planned Parenthood had issued a statement claiming that "extremists" opposed to their agenda, "have called on the world’s most sophisticated hackers to assist them in breaching our systems and threatening the privacy and safety of our staff members."

At that time LifeSiteNews spoke with cybersecurity experts who said the attack appeared to be legitimate, but that it was not as sophisticated as Planned Parenthood claimed, given the outdated version of the abortion behemoth’s webserver.

The abortion giant has been reeling in recent weeks from a series of undercover videos, which appear to show high level Planned Parenthood staff negotiating to profit from the sale of body parts harvested from aborted babies. The videos have also shown the staff describing how they alter the abortion procedure to procure the best specimens possible.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack. 

"Planned Parenthood says it’s been hacked by 'extremists,' but a review of the publicly available evidence suggests that the only things being hacked at Planned Parenthood right now are perfectly healthy and viable unborn babies," said Davis.

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