On Tuesday, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Il) announced she's expecting her second child, a baby girl, later this year. An important announcement in and of itself, it becomes even more so when you consider that Duckworth will now become the first sitting senator to give birth while in office.
Though really, this is just the sort of thing Duckworth is used to: she gave birth to her first daughter, Abigail, while serving in Congress, which made her just the 10th woman since the country's founding to do so while in that office.
“[My husband] 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 shared with reporters in a statement.
Having children, of course, isn't the only barrier Duckworth has broken. As USA Today noted, she was also the first disabled female veteran to take a seat in the U.S. House when she won her race in 2016.
In a statement, Duckworth's office noted how the pregnancy was important for not only Duckworth and her family, but also for the millions of working mothers around the nation, who are often paid less and offered fewer opportunities simply because they chose to also have a baby.
"Though millions of American women have become mothers while continuing their careers, Senator Duckworth is one of only 10 women since our nation’s founding who have given birth while serving in Congress," the statement read. "Her experiences as a working mother give her an important — and underrepresented —perspective in the halls of Congress, where she has long advocated on behalf of working families."
Duckworth's announcement also came with heaping praise from her colleagues as well.
Sen. Dick Durbin from Illinois told the Chicago Sun-Times that he is “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. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
And behind her coworkers, men and women across the nation jumped on social media to congratulate Duckworth on this historic moment, with some even calling for her to run for the presidency in 2020.
And, to add to this extraordinary news, Duckworth wasn't the only woman in a global leadership role to announce she is expecting a child this year. On Friday, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she too is expecting. And when she shared the news she simultaneously shot down any haters who may come her way about being a mom and a politician at the same time.
“I am not the first woman to multitask. I am not the first woman to work and have a baby,” Ardern said. “We are going to make this work, and New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child.”
May we suggest Ruth Bader Ginsburg's children's book, I Dissent, as their first new-baby purchases?