Pregnant Congresswoman Denied Her Vote Because She Can't Travel

Tammy DuckworthWell this is a little bit of a political pickle for Democrats. The party that claims to be for women has recently shown that they might not actually be willing to cross convention in order to help out a woman in need. In particular, Democratic House Representative Tammy Duckworth has been denied her vote in her party's upcoming leadership elections because's eight months pregnant and unable to travel. Please let me not forget to mention that she's also a double amputee veteran of the Iraq War.


So that is happening. Congresswoman Duckworth from Illinois requested to vote by proxy because her medical team advised her not to travel at this stage in her pregnancy for fear of complications.

Ms. Duckworth submitted her request to essentially vote absentee by way of a letter to the Democratic Caucus, but was denied by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and also Representative Rosa DeLauro, citing decades-old precedent that this sort of thing just isn't done.

DeLauro's spokeswoman Sara Lonardo stated, "Congresswoman DeLauro does not want to set a precedent. There are many meritorious situations where the argument could be made for a waiver, including Congresswoman Duckworth's. The question is, how do you choose?"

How do you choose? How about the woman is a war hero who lost both of her legs fighting for democracy in the United States, and is now eight months pregnant and concerned for the health and safety of her child?

Of course this is likely a political move as much as anything, as the vote in question is for retiring Henry Waxman's seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Duckworth's vote is rumored to be against Pelosi's well known endorsement.

At least one Democratic strategist is "steamed" over her party's decision in this matter. Julie Roginsky said, "This is not what Democrats are about. We're better than this. I'm embarrassed and I'm ashamed of the Democratic Party today because of this." She also said that Duckworth is a "hero" who deserves better than this. 

Hey, what do you know? A Democrat who I agree whole-heartedly with.

Do you think that Rep. Duckworth should be allowed to vote by proxy?


Image via Argonne National Laboratory/Flickr

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