POLITICS
01/23/2018 06:18 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2018

Senator Tammy Duckworth Makes Historic Pregnancy Announcement

In a few months, the Iraq War veteran is expected to become the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) announced Tuesday that she is pregnant with her second child ― news that’s expected to secure her a place in the history books.

Duckworth let the world know that she’s six months pregnant with her second daughter, and that she expects to soon become the first sitting senator to give birth in U.S. history. The Purple Heart recipient and Iraq War veteran has been through this once before, as she gave birth in 2014 to her daughter Abigail 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 in her statement. “As tough as juggling the demands of motherhood and being a 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.”

Only 10 women have given birth while serving in Congress, including Duckworth. The senator told the Chicago Sun-Times that for her and her husband, Bryan, the journey to a second child has been challenging.

“I’ve had multiple IVF cycles and a miscarriage trying to conceive again, so we’re very grateful,” Duckworth told the Sun-Times.

The senator had to wait over a year to try again after her first daughter’s cesarean birth, and had a miscarriage in 2016 during her Senate campaign. She has since worked with fertility specialists at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to try again.

Duckworth has worked on a number of initiatives to help working families during her time in office, including Head Start programs for children and paid family leave legislation.

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