Sen. Tammy Duckworth, of Illionois.
Charles Rex Arbogast / AP
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, announced Tuesday she is pregnant with her second child and will become the first serving US senator to give birth while in office.
“Bryan and I are thrilled that our family is getting a little big bigger, and Abigail is ecstatic to welcome her baby sister home this spring,” Duckworth said in a statement.
A retired US Army lieutenant colonel, Duckworth lost both her legs in combat while serving as a pilot in the Iraq war. She served two terms in the House of Representatives and, last year, was elected to serve in the US Senate.
Duckworth and her husband have a daughter, Abigail, who is 3 years old.
Since 1922, a total of 51 women have served in the US Senate, but Duckworth will become the first to have a child during her term in office. Only 10 women have given birth while serving in the House of Representatives.
“Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and an issue that affects all parents — men and women alike” Duckworth said. “As tough as juggling the demands of motherhood and being senator can be, I’m hardly alone or unique as a working parent, and Abigail has only made me more committed to doing my job and standing up for hardworking families everywhere.”
Sen. Dick Durbin also released a statement Tuesday congratulating his fellow senator from Illinois.
“When she told me several weeks ago that she and Bryan were expecting a new baby to join their little Abigail, I was speechless,” the statement read. “I have learned to never underestimate Tammy Duckworth. 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. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
Duckworth is expected to give birth in late April.