As U.S. citizens, we rely on our elected officials to help shape policies that will benefit us as a constituency. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D. Illinois) takes that obligation seriously.
A combat veteran, Senator Duckworth is the first woman of Thai American descent elected to Congress, the first female Senator with a disability, and the first female double amputee elected to serve in the Senate. In addition, she is the first sitting U.S. Senator to give birth during her term in office, a pregnancy made possible by in vitro fertilization (IVF.)
Although we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Duckworth has been hard at work introducing legislation and seeking to persuade the GOP-controlled Senate on matters that have directly impacted her as a working mother, and as someone who benefited from assisted reproduction.
She championed the Friendly Airports for Mothers Improvement Act, requiring airports big and small to provide lactation rooms for nursing mothers. The fact that travel has slowed due to the pandemic wasn’t a deterrent for the Senator, who was quoted in an interview saying “If we want economically to recover, people are going to start traveling again—and we have to include women as part of the economy.”
The Senator also sought to persuade her fellow Senators against confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, because of a concern that Barrett’s documented opposition of IVF could lead to a scenario where Americans would no longer have access to such assisted reproduction treatments. Senator Duckworth appealed to her colleagues, asking them to consider the message they would be sending not only to parents who conceived via IVF like Duckworth herself, but other intended parents who are struggling with infertility and hoping IVF might be the answer.
While our Congresspeople do not always succeed in their efforts, these types of actions by Senator Duckworth demonstrate how her own experiences influence the policies she fights for.
To learn more about The Surrogacy Law Center and how we can help protect you and your rights on your assisted reproduction journey, contact us today!