Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak, the congressman who led anti-abortion rights Democrats in the House during health care negotiations, will retire this year, CBS News has learned. He is expected to announce his plans later today.
Had Stupak sought re-election, he would have faced challengers from both the left and the right backed by interest groups angered by Stupak's health care vote.
Stupak negotiated with Democratic leaders down to the eleventh hour for stricter abortion language in the health care bill, but he ultimatelyafter President Obama agreed to sign an executive order assuring the new laws will keep taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.
That prompted the conservative Tea Party Express toa $250,000 ad campaign against Stupak this week. The group also scheduled a handful of stops on its bus tour in Stupak's district.
On the left, the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America has been working to defeat Stupak and instead elect his Democratic primary challenger Connie Saltonstall.
Like many other congressmen, Stupak receivedfrom citizens after his health care vote. However, the Michigan Democrat came under particularly intense scrutiny because of his role in the abortion debate.