Tammy Duckworth Will Be the First Senator to Give Birth While in Office

Senator Tammy Duckworth has made history before. She was the first Asian American woman from Illinois elected to Congress and the first disabled woman from any state to win an election. Soon, she’ll become the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office.

The 49-year-old Democratic senator announced on Tuesday that she’s expecting her second child. Her first child, a 3-year-old named Abigail, was born while Duckworth was serving in the House. Only ten women have given birth while serving in Congress. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers has done it three times.

Duckworth told the Chicago Sun-Times that she and her husband tried multiple fertilization methods before conceiving Abigail through in vitro. After another year and a half, they started trying for their second child.

“I’ve had multiple IVF cycles and a miscarriage trying to conceive again, so we’re very grateful,” she told the Sun-Times.

She thanked everyone who has supported her and her husband on their “decades long journey to complete [their] family,” but that being a working parent doesn’t make her unique.

“Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and an issue that affects all parents — men and women alike,” she said. “As tough as juggling the demands of motherhood and being a senator can be, I’m hardly alone or unique as a working parent, and my daughter Abigail has only made me more committed to doing my job and standing up for hardworking families everywhere.”

Senator Duckworth is not alone. New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced just days earlier that she and her partner are expecting their first child.

Ardern learned of her pregnancy just days before being confirmed as prime minister.

Ardern is not the first world leader to give birth while running a country. In 1990, Benazir Bhutto, then prime minister of Pakistan, became the first world leader to give birth while in office when she had her daughter.

And yet almost 30 years later, employers are still hesitant to hire young women because they don’t want to have to deal with maternity leave. Forty percent of managers admit to preferring men in their 20s or 30s to women of childbearing age. They would also be wary of hiring mothers.

Clearly, the problem is not that women can’t handle both a baby and a career. The problem is only the fear that they can’t.

But if world leaders can have babies and still do there jobs, the rest of us can too.

Photo Credit: Flicker

73 comments

Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND
John B
John B9 months ago

Thanks Lauren for sharing the info.

SEND
Barbara M
Past Member 10 months ago

About time.

SEND
Winn A
Winn A10 months ago

And I hope she's not the last eigher!!!!!

SEND
Janet B
Janet B10 months ago

Thanks

SEND
RICKY S
RICKY SLOAN10 months ago

WOW

SEND
Danielle F
Danielle F10 months ago

This was very interesting, thank you

SEND
Janis K
Janis K10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M10 months ago

Tfs

SEND
KimJ M
KimJ M10 months ago

Tfs

SEND