Metro-East News

Tammy Duckworth announces she’s pregnant, will be 1st sitting senator to give birth

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth is expecting her second child and will be the first person to give birth while serving as a senator, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Duckworth is due in April, a few weeks after turning 50, she told the Sun-Times.

“Bryan and I are thrilled that our family is getting a little bit bigger, and (3-year-old) Abigail is ecstatic to welcome her baby sister home this spring,” Duckworth said in a news release.

Only 10 women have given birth while serving in Congress as an elected official. Duckworth will become the first sitting senator to give birth. She also gave birth to Abigail while serving as a U.S. representative.

“Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s an economic issue and an issue that affects all parents — men and women a like,” Duckworth said. “As tough as juggling 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.”

Kiera Ellis, Duckworth’s press secretary, said the senator plans to take “time to bond with her daughter, but will be available to vote in the Senate.”

Duckworth’s colleague, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin congratulated her.

“From the moment she came into my office 13 years ago, I knew that Tammy Duckworth was one of the most extraordinary people I would ever meet. Her determination as a veteran with disabilities to overcome grievous combat injuries and lead a full life demonstrated a level of courage which inspires us all,” Durbin said in a statement.

“When she told me several weeks ago that she and Bryan were expecting a new baby to join their little Abigail, I was speechless. 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.”

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter