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Pregnant Legislator Can't Travel, But Denied Vote by Proxy

Short & Sweet

Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who is 8 months pregnant with her first child, was denied a request to vote by proxy in the House Democratic Caucus leadership and committee member elections this week, even though her doctor has restricted her from travel until after she gives birth.

The Lowdown

The Iraq War veteran, who lost both legs in 2004 when her helicopter was shot down, made her proxy request in a letter to fellow Democrats. Objections were raised, and the request was denied.

Democrats are reluctant to give exceptions to the in-person voting requirement for leadership and committee chair elections because they feel if one person gets it, everyone will want it. They want to be fair, and in the more than 40 years for which they have records, no request for a proxy vote has been granted.

It's being speculated that this has nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with politics of the house. Duckworth supports putting Rep. Frank Pallone on the Energy and Commerce Committee, but Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who objected to Duckworth's request, is campaigning for Rep. Anna Eshoo to get the job instead.

The Upshot

Creating life may be our superpower, but those sweet babies can also be our career kryptonite. We can't help it; we'll always love them more than any job, and that makes us vulnerable at work. Let's face it, there is never a great time to have a baby. Either you're too young, don't have enough money or have enough resources, but your career is in full swing. The bottom line is that not everyone can have it all, and sacrifices have to be made.

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