CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (CWN) - House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Tuesday said the Republican Party avoided the stigma of arrogance last week when it voted down a proposal to deny funding to GOP candidates who support partial-birth abortion.

      Gingrich said the resolution would have alienated moderate voters, but added that he opposes the late-term abortion procedure which he called barbaric. "We don't want to say that the Republican National Committee is going to say to the primary voters of Charlotte, the primary voters of Greensboro, the primary voters of Columbia, South Carolina, if you pick the wrong person, we're not going to support you," Gingrich said. "I think there's a certain arrogance in saying (RNC members) nationally are now going to dictate in the primaries in every part of the country," he said. "I thought that was the wrong approach in what is otherwise the exactly right moral principle."

      The procedure involves partially extracting an unborn child, legs first, through the birth canal, cutting an incision in the base of his skull, and then suctioning out his brain. The House and Senate are expected to take up an override of President Clinton's veto of a ban on the procedure.

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January 22, 1998 volume 9, no. 16          DAILY CATHOLIC