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.
Thank you for the outpouring of congratulations and support. 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
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) January 24, 2018
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.
Congratulations to my friend @SenDuckworth! 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. https://t.co/UdK9KwbFaC
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) January 23, 2018
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.