Can you be pregnant and run for public office at the same time? Of course you can. But people will undoubtedly comment on it.
Raquel Batista, who is running to represent the Bronx in the New York City Council, was pregnant with daughter Carmen for most of her campaign. According to Batista, constituents constantly commented on her pregnancy and asked how she planned to juggle the position with a newborn.
When Sally Kohn interviewed Batista for The Daily Beast on August 22, she wrote: "What’s noteworthy is that Batista’s pregnancy was never seen as a positive -- a sign that if she would fight this hard to get into office while pregnant, imagine how hard she would fight for her constituents while in office."
This week, Batista spoke to Erin Matson at RH Reality Check about her experiences and the message she hopes to send to women watching her run:
There’s this whole Lean In movement to keep going. Even when I was in a moment when I wasn’t thinking of having a child, but I was thinking about my career, sometimes I was thinking I shouldn’t do that because I want to have a family. Sometimes we may well self-sabotage ourselves and not really give ourselves the opportunity. My experience [running for public office] has shown me there were a lot of challenges besides my actually being pregnant -- everything from getting onto the ballot, and getting matching funds in New York City -- every step along the way there was always a moment where I thought I shouldn’t do this. People around me were like, “Wow, you shouldn’t do this.” We always made it through to the other side. I think that’s what I’ve learned in this whole experience. Really it’s taking the risk, putting myself out there, and also being OK with letting the chips fall where they may. Just doing it.
Cheers to that.