Senator Tammy Duckworth May Lose Her Right to Vote if She Goes on Maternity Leave
Iraq War Veteran turned United States senator, Tammy Duckworth, may soon face losing her right to vote once she starts her 12 weeks paid maternity leave when she delivers her second daughter in April making her the first senator to give birth while still in office.
In the recent episode of Politico’s Women Rule podcast, Duckworth, who will turn 50 on March 12, explained how she is currently working with her team and other leaders of her political Democratic party in figuring out how she could still cast her vote even if she’s out of the Senate chamber.
“You’re not allowed to bring children onto the floor of the Senate at all, so if I have to vote and I’m breastfeeding my child, what do I do, leave her sitting outside?” the senator said, Vox reported.
According to the report, those who are out may not be able to cast their vote or sponsor legislation, which could severely impact the course of history.
“Not only do the rules punish women in an institution with few women to begin with, they take away their ability to vote on legislation that impact women across the country. Imagine the raging debate on gun control right now–Sen. Duckworth’s vote could mean the difference between finally strengthening background checks on gun purchases or not,” a petition on We Are Ultraviolet wrote.
While speaking with The Guardian, Duckworth noted the slow pace of change in the senate, especially about women in leadership role.
“I feel like the Senate is actually in the 19th century as opposed to the 21st somehow and that’s really unfortunate,” she said. “It’s a reflection of a real need for more women in leadership across our country, whether it’s legislatively or in boardrooms or the military.”