CHICAGO (CBS) — Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) says she’s got some baby names picked out for her second child but the senator will make history when she becomes the first senator in U.S. history to give birth while in office.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker asked the senator about being the first senator to give birth, Duckworth said she found the notion of making history this way “a little ridiculous.”
“Because this is the 21st century. It’s about time. I can’t believe it’s 2018 and it took until now to have the first sitting senator having a baby and that’s just wrong,” said Duckworth, who added that she is thrilled about the impending birth of her second daughter, due in April.
“We need more women in power, more women in leadership, more women in the halls of Congress. I need some company,” said Duckworth.
When asked about baby names, Duckworth says she’s floated three names by her husband. The Senator says her daughter Abigail is named after Abigail Adams, the wife and advisor of John Adams, the country’s second President. Duckworth says she and her husband are “big Abigail Adams fans.”
“One is Clara, for (founder of the Red Cross),” says Duckworth. “Molly Pitcher, a Revolutionary War heroine. This is the fun part, coming up with lots of names, But something historic or family oriented.”
Duckworth admits she’s been more fatigued with this pregnancy but says overall she’s having a wonderful time.
“I’m enjoying knowing, expecting and getting ready for a little miracle,” says Duckworth.
In terms of policy, the Senator says she will continue to work for universal family leave.
“I think this nation requires (it) so you can take the time off, paid, to start a family and have a child or to take care of a family member who is ill,” says Duckworth. “We’re the only developed nation that doesn’t have universal family leave and that’s wrong.”
Duckworth says she does not get twelve weeks time off.
“This is the interesting thing about being the first U.S. Senator (to give birth while in office.) There are no leave policies for United States Senators because there’s never been one,” says Duckworth with a laugh. “I’m figuring it out. I have to vote from the floor of the Senate but children are not allowed on the floor of the Senate. So if I’m breastfeeding my daughter, how do I go on the floor and vote? Do I just leave her on a chair outside?”
Duckworth says despite the cloudy scenario, she plans on working with Democratic and Republican leadership to work out the time she needs to have a baby and serve in the Senate.