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Thursday, November 30, 2023

The First US Senator to Give Birth in Office Had a Heartfelt Mother’s Day Message: “You Are What Keeps This Country Strong”

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Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, the first US senator to give birth while in office, penned a heartfelt Mother’s Day message on Sunday, congratulating mothers across the country who are “building the next generation for our country.”

“Hang in there, sister. We are in this together and no one has the perfect work/life balance and everyone is struggling so please do your best.

“You are what keeps this country strong.”

Duckworth and her husband, Brian Bowlsby, are the parents of two daughters, Abigail and Mel. Abigail was born while Duckworth was serving as the Chicago Territorial Representative in the United States House of Representatives.

In 2018, after giving birth to Mel, Duckworth became the first US senator to vote from the floor with her newborn child.

Her vote came a day after the Senate overturned a long-standing rule allowing newborns on the floor of the conference room during voting. The rule change, passed unanimously, was made to accommodate senators with newborns and to allow senators to bring babies to breastfeed during voting.

“It feels good,” Duckworth told reporters at the time. “It’s about time, huh?”

On Sunday, a Democratic lawmaker from Illinois spoke of the Democratic Party’s efforts to pass legislation to address skyrocketing child care costs.

“Families spend between a quarter and a fifth of their income on childcare, and there’s no way a working family can afford that burden,” Duckworth said.

“We keep working.

Duckworth is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was a helicopter pilot during the Iraq War. She was the first woman in combat to have a double amputation after being seriously wounded in combat after her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down.

Duckworth served as Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the Obama Administration. She was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2012 and became a senator four years later.

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