Congressman Bart Stupak (D, MI) has confirmed that he will retire instead of seeking re-election.
Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak, who was the central figure in the abortion debate surrounding the health care law, will retire from Congress at the end of this term.Stupak, who's been in Congress for 18 years, will make the announcement at a 12:30 p.m. ET press conference in Marquette, Mich.Stupak told The Associated Press that attacks on him for his role in the abortion debate did not influence his decision and he could win re-election if he tried.Stupak was a lightning rod in the debate over abortion provisions contained in the health care feud. Abortion language in the House bill was deemed the Stupak amendment because it provided clear rules that federal funding could not be used by insurance companies to pay for abortions. But the final law adopted different language from the Senate bill.In the final analysis, the left accused Stupak of attempting to make abortion access more difficult while the right said he caved at the last minute by agreeing to weaker Senate provisions.As much as Stupak claimed he was a good candidate for re-election, he may be among the first casualties of the law, which has not gained traction among Americans who roundly disapproved of it throughout debate, in part because of its massive price tag.The Tea Party Express, a group who opposed the federal spending, has been calling for Stupak's defeat at rallies in his sprawling northern Michigan district this week. Republican doctor Dan Benishek also announced he would challenge Stupak in the election.Stupak told the AP he wants to spend more time with his family and start a new career after nine terms in Congress.
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