Tammy Duckworth to Become First Sitting Senator to Give Birth
Democratic Junior Senator Tammy Duckworth is once again about to bravely go where literally no one has gone before. The Illinois senator was the first disabled woman elected to Congress, the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress in Illinois, and the first member of Congress born in Thailand. Now she’s about to become the first senator to have a baby while serving in the Senate chamber.
Duckworth already has one child — 18-month-old Abigail — whom she gave birth to while serving in the House. There are 10 congresswomen who have given birth while serving in the House, but Duckworth will be the first to do so while in the Senate.
Duckworth made the adorably punny announcement via Twitter:
She’s currently six months pregnant and is expected to give birth in April, shortly after her 50th birthday. In conversation with the Chicago Sun-Times, Duckworth described getting pregnant a second time as “a struggle.” She had a miscarriage in 2016 and went through multiple rounds of IVF before conceiving.
If you don’t know this plucky politician’s backstory, get ready to be even more inspired. Duckworth was born in Thailand to a Thai mother and American father and moved to Hawaii when she was 16. She joined the army after university and eventually became a lieutenant colonel, serving in the armed forces for 23 years. In 2004, her Black Hawk Helicopter was shot down in Iraq and she lost both of her legs and shattered her right arm. Did that stop her? No way! She continued to serve until 2014. She also launched her run for Senate while on mat leave, so she quite the multitasker.
We’re not the only ones who are impressed by all that Duckworth has accomplished:
And if you somehow need yet another reason to stand up and cheer for this powerhouse of a lady, here’s what she said during the recent government shutdown in response to Trump’s accusation that Democrats were putting “unlawful immigrants” ahead of the military:
“I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well-being, the training, the equipping of the troops for whom I was responsible. Sadly, this is something that the current occupant of the Oval Office does not seem to care to do — and I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger. And I have a message for Cadet Bone Spurs: If you cared about our military, you’d stop baiting Kim Jong Un into a war that could put 85,000 American troops, and millions of innocent civilians, in danger.”
Sing it, Tammy.
We look forward to meeting what is sure to be a kick-ass baby come April, Senator Ducksworth.
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(Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty)