Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-HI) will soon be the first U.S. Senator in history to give birth while in office. But under Senate rules, if Sen. Duckworth takes any maternity leave, she will be unable to perform the most essential aspects of her job—voting and sponsoring legislation.
And if she’s not on leave, Sen. Duckworth will miss votes when she’s breastfeeding because the Senate rules deny floor privileges to family members, and nursing infants are considered family members. These are patriarchal and patently unfair rules and certainly do not reflect family values.
Is the U.S. Senate stuck in the 50’s—the 1850’s?
News flash for Mitch McConnell–you can’t put the “no girls allowed” sign back up in the Senate. Modernize the rules to allow women to work while caring for their children.
But even as important, do something for all the working women—particularly for women who work in low-wage jobs, predominantly women of color, who urgently need workplaces that provide reasonable accommodations for working mothers. This is your chance to provide family friendly workplaces, and exhibit true American family values.
Emily Imhof, email@example.com, 951-547-1241