Staunch anti-abortion Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election next year, joining anti-abortion Senators Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Strom Thurmond (R-SC) who have also announced plans to retire at the end of their terms. Senator Gramm was first elected as a conservative Democrat in 1978 but changed his party affiliation during the Reagan presidency. Gramm cites tax cuts and welfare reform as some of his greatest accomplishments, both of which have garnered much criticism from feminist groups. Gramm, who most recently attacked the possibly relaxation of immigration laws, may have decided to retire earlier than expected based on the recent change in Senate leadership. Gramm was the Chair of the Senate Banking Committee until Democrats took control of the Senate earlier this year.