Hyde, Canady Oppose Abortion 'Litmus Test'
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 13) -- Two leading anti-abortion Republicans have weighed in against an effort by party activists to deny party financial help to GOP candidates who do not oppose certain late-term abortions.
Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and Rep. Charles Canady (R-Fla.), both known for their unwavering opposition to abortion, say it would be "a serious tactical error" for the Republican Party to withhold support from GOP candidates over the so-called "partial-birth abortion" issue.
"In politics, you win by addition, and we need every Republican vote we can muster to maintain our majority in the House and Senate," Hyde said in a letter to Republican National Chairman Jim Nicholson, who also opposes the move.
Critics have characterized the proposal, which party leaders are set to debate at the Republicans' winter meeting this week in Palm Springs, Calif., to a "litmus test" that could lead to other attempts to enforce party orthodoxy on controversial issues.
But supporters, including Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, say the issue is so clear-cut that it's important for the party to do it.
Hyde and Canady could be persuasive, though, because their credentials on the abortion issue are solid. Hyde is a prominent leader of anti-abortion forces and Canady is the chief House sponsor of a ban of the late-term abortion procedure branded by its opponents as "partial-birth abortions."