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Martha McSally, Arizona's newly-elected congresswoman, was the first woman to fly a combat mission.

A Republican woman who favors the pro-life position most of the time defeated a pro-abortion Democrat after a protracted recount ended today, edging him out by a handful of votes.

Martha McSally defeated Democratic incumbent Rep. Ron Barber by 167 votes to represent Arizona's Second Congressional district. On election night, McSally led Barber by 161 votes, triggering an automatic recount that stretched on for weeks – a replay of their 2012 election, when a recount had Barber beat McSally by 2,500 votes.

“There’s no getting around that this was an incredibly close and hard-fought race,” McSally said after the results were announced, calling on the campaigns to “come together and heal our community.”

Barber had tried to focus on McSally's position on abortion to increase single female voter turnout, a successful strategy in 2012, when he linked McSally to Todd Akin. At the time her spokesman, Bruce Harvie, called Akins' comments about 'legitimate' rape “absolutely reprehensible.”

Democrats also accused McSally of flip-flopping on abortion in the two-year interval between campaigns. In 2012, she responded to a questionnaire from the Center for Arizona Policy by saying she supported “prohibiting abortion except where it is necessary to prevent the death of the mother” and favored conscience rights for health care professionals “to opt out of performing procedures that violate their moral or religious beliefs.”

This year, she told Tucson radio talk show host John C. Scott, “I am pro-life with three exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.” The New York Times reported that she also supported abortion if necessary to preserve the health of the mother, although it did not provide a quotation.

She did not respond when The Arizona Republic asked if she would support a ban on abortion for babies who can feel pain, at 20 weeks or later.

McSally went on to tell Scott that “primarily this is a state issue” that Congress should spend little time addressing.

“Really what it comes down to is federal funding in my view, and so I wouldn't support federal funding,” she said. “But I do believe that those exceptions are important, and I do believe we need to focus on a country that these children are born into and to be addressing the things that primarily the House of Representatives is asked to do.”

McSally said in her statement today, “My focus will be on what unites us, not what divides us, such as providing better economic opportunity for our families and ensuring our country and community are kept safe.”

McSally, the first woman to fly a combat mission, first gained national recognition in 2001 after suing the Defense Department over a policy requiring servicewomen in Saudi Arabia to wear an abaya – a long, cumbersome robe that covers most of the female body – when traveling off-base. She was represented in the successful case by the Rutherford Institute.

The Rhode Island native formerly served as a national security adviser to Senator Jon Kyl. She had her marriage to Don Henry, an Air Force officer, annulled after two years.

In addition to most instances of abortion, McSally says she opposes redefining marriage.

Today's victory means the Republicans picked up 13 seats in the House in the 2014 midterm elections