Tammy Duckworth, a Purple Heart recipient, will be first senator to give birth while in office

Sen. Tammy Duckworth is pregnant and this is big for a sitting senator.
Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Tammy Duckworth, the freshman senator and Iraq war vet who lost both her legs in combat, announced she’s pregnant with her second child in a Chicago Sun-Times exclusive Tuesday.

Her pregnancy is a milestone. She will be the first sitting senator to give birth while in office. She’s due later this spring. The Purple Heart recipient has a young daughter Abigail, who was born in 2014 while Duckworth was a U.S. representative. She was the tenth representative to give birth while in office.

“I’m hardly alone or unique as a working parent, and my daughter Abigail has only made me more committed to doing my job and standing up for hardworking families everywhere,” Duckworth said in a tweet after the announcement.

Duckworth, who represents Illinois in the Senate, has promoted working mothers and other parenting issues and has included her “mom” role in her policy. She focused on parenting while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, too.

In a statement from Duckworth’s office to ABC News, the 49-year-old said she and her husband, Bryan, “are thrilled” about the new addition to their family. She also spoke about parenthood and how it’s more than a women’s issue, “It’s an economic issue and an issue that affects all parents.”

In the Sun-Times, she spoke about difficulties getting pregnant and a miscarriage in 2016 during her Senate campaign. She told the newspaper she decided to run for Senate while on maternity leave with her first daughter. “As tough as it’s been to juggle motherhood and the demands of being in the House and now the Senate, it’s made me more committed to doing this job,” she said

On the news of her pregnancy, fellow senators, like Kamala Harris of California, and other lawmakers, offered their congratulations.


Duckworth isn’t new to firsts. She was one of the first women to pilot a helicopter during combat missions in Iraq. 

UPDATED Jan. 23, 2018, 6:12 p.m. PST with information about Duckworth’s tweet following the announcement.

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