The Democrat is also Illinois’ first Asian-American woman elected to Congress
There’s a first time for everything. Sen. Tammy Duckworth is living proof.
The Illinois Army National Guard vet and fierce President Trump critic announced Tuesday she’s pregnant with her second child, which would make her the first-ever U.S. senator to give birth while in office. “Bryan and I are thrilled that our family is getting a little bit bigger, and Abigail is ecstatic to welcome her baby sister home this spring,” Duckworth said in a statement. “Duck, duck, duck… duckling!” she captioned the announcement on Twitter.
“I am proud to have her as my Illinois colleague and prouder still that she will make history by being the first U.S. Senator to have a baby while in office,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in his own statement. I couldn’t be happier for her.” Duckworth, a 49-year-old former congresswoman, is also one of 10 House lawmakers — among them now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) — who’ve had babies in office.
Wanted to share some exciting personal news… pic.twitter.com/ZZyu9pG2nq
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) January 23, 2018
Tuesday’s news marked yet another milestone for Duckworth: She was reportedly the Iraq War’s first woman double amputee, going on to become Illinois’ first Asian-American woman elected to Congress, the first disabled woman elected to Congress, and the first Thailand-born Congress member.
Duckworth’s second child, due in April, is a long time coming: After the birth of her 3-year-old daughter Abigail (who, Duckworth said in a “Today” show interview, took 10 years to conceive), the politician underwent “multiple IVF cycles” and suffered a 2016 miscarriage, she told the Chicago Sun-Times.
The senator’s experience with motherhood has also informed her approach to policy, the newspaper pointed out: In recent years, for example, she has introduced the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act — which would require major airports to provide lactation rooms — and legislation to mandate paid parental leave for moms, dads and adoptive parents in the military.
“Thank you for the outpouring of congratulations and support,” Duckworth tweeted Tuesday night. “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.”
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