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Women’s Group Demands Mitch McConnell Change Senate Rules to Allow New Mother Senators to Do Their Job

UltraViolet Says Voters Elected Duckworth, McConnell Should Not Prevent Her from Doing Her Job Because of Outdated Rules

WASHINGTON - UltraViolet, a leading national women’s group, today launched a campaign demanding that Mitch McConnell and Republicans modernize its rules in the US Senate to allow new mothers to vote while caring for their children. The new campaign comes after expectant mother Senator Tammy Duckworth ((D-IL)—who will be the first U.S. Senator in history to give birth while in office—said in an interview with Politico that she cannot technically take maternity leave, citing Senate rules that bar children from the floor and require Senators to be physically present to cast a vote. More than 35,000 people have signed UltraViolet’s petition. 


UltraViolet argues that outdated Senate rules will prevent new mother Senator Tammy Duckworth from doing the job that voters in Illinois sent her to Washington to do. The group notes that Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans could change the rules today and bring the Senate into this century if they wanted to, but they so far have declined to do so.

“Like too many working women in America, Senator Tammy Duckworth is being punished for giving birth,” explained Nita Chaudhary, Co-Founder of UltraViolet." Because of the Senate’s sexist and backward rules, Senator Duckworth will be unable to do her critically important job and care for her newborn at the same time. Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, who control the Senate, could change the rules today. But so far they have refused to act. The current rules send a clear message that new moms are not welcome in the Senate. This type of discrimination ought to be unacceptable anywhere in society and particularly in the US Senate.”


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UltraViolet is an online community of over 550,000 women and men who want to take collective action to expose and fight sexism in the public sector, private sector and the media.  Find out more at

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