PALM SPRINGS, California (CWN) - The Republican National Committee on Friday at its winter meeting rejected a proposed resolution that would have banned support for candidates who support partial-birth abortion, but not without strong support on both sides of this issue.       "We are a pro-life party, and we shouldn't be ashamed of it," Betsy DeVos of Michigan told fellow RNC members. Tim Lambert of Texas, the sponsor of the resolution, said the issue could end in a revolt among rank and file members of the Republican Party. "I think there will be consequences," he said. "Republicans have been elected to their positions for years by telling their folks they are pro-life."       Noted pro-lifer Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois was called into the meeting by RNC chairman Jim Nicholson to oppose the resolution while allaying pro-lifers' fears that the abortion issue is being downplayed by the party. "We were inept, we were timid in our last two presidential campaigns" and merely gave lip service to the issue, he said. Many Republicans said after the meeting that they hope the issue of support for a partial-birth abortion ban will soon change focus to the Democratic Party, where there are many more opponents to a ban, once an override of President Clinton's veto of a ban comes to a final vote.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT:To subscribe to Catholic World News Service, available daily by e-mail, click here .

January 20, 1998 volume 9, no. 14          DAILY CATHOLIC