Tammy Duckworth’s baby just made history. And senators are loving it.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth gave birth to Maile Pearl on April 9, 2018.

In doing so, the Democrat from Illinois became the first U.S. senator to give birth while serving in office.

Congrats, Tammy!


Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

10 days after giving birth, Duckworth made history again by bringing her baby onto the Senate floor.

"I made sure she has a jacket so she doesn’t violate the Senate floor dress code (which requires blazers)," Duckworth wrote on Twitter. "I’m not sure what the policy is on duckling onesies, but I think we’re ready."

Many senators were giddy to meet the newest member of the Duckworth family.  

"She's coming! She's coming!" Sen. Claire MacCaskill reportedly claimed as Duckworth arrived, according to New York Times reporter Sheryl Stolberg.

And others online were excited about the news and congratulated Duckworth, as well — not just for leading by example as a working parent, but also as a disabled women of color who uses a wheelchair.

"People see that Senator Duckworth is a war veteran and a woman holding elected office," one woman wrote on Twitter. "I see a disabled mother who is holding one of the highest government positions. She is the answer that, YES, disabled women CAN do it all."

And they can do it all holding their newborns, too.

Welcome to the U.S. Senate, baby Maile. ❤️

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

The absurd thing is, just a few days ago, it would have been illegal for Duckworth to bring her child onto the Senate floor. But the new mom and U.S. Army veteran put an end to the archaic rule that would have stopped baby Maile from entering the upper chamber.

A few days ago, Duckworth submitted a resolution that would do away with a decree that barred children under the age of 1 from being on the Senate floor.

As a new mom, the rule was a major — and entirely unnecessary — barrier preventing Duckworth from balancing being an attentive parent with her day job. It's a predicament I'd guess, oh... just about every working parent has found themselves in at some point.

As reported by HuffPost, the resolution first needed to get through the Senate Rules Committee before getting approved by the upper chamber. And although some older male senators (*cough* shocking) seemed concerned that babies might disrupt "Senate decorum" — "What if there are ten babies on the floor of the Senate?" Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch had asked — Duckworth's proposition passed both hurdles relatively seamlessly.

Below, you can watch history being made by Duckworth and baby Maile (story continues afterward).

You'll see a bunch of senators — including Amy Klobuchar, Jeff Flake, Chuck Schumer, Claire McCaskill, and Mitch McConnell(!) — wander over to get a peak of baby Maile and say hello.

This is a big moment — not just for Duckworth and her family, but for working parents everywhere.

As Duckworthy tweeted:

"By ensuring that no senator will be prevented from performing their constitutional responsibilities simply because they have a young child, the Senate is leading by example [and] sending the important message that working parents everywhere deserve family-friendly workplace policies."

Let's hope her colleagues are listening, because the U.S. is among the worst developed countries for new parents.

Our federal government requires no paid maternity or paternity leave, unlike almost every other wealthy nation on earth. And many other countries — like Sweden, France, and New Zealand — have enviable policies, like generous tax credit laws for families with young kids, as well as affordable, regulated day care facilities that make paying for childcare much more manageable for working parents, according to The New Republic.

If the U.S. Senate can change its rules to make the upper chamber more accommodating for its members, it should start doing the same for the rest of country, too.

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Truth

Don't test on animals. That's something we can all agree on, right? No one likes to think of defenseless cats, dogs, hamsters, and birds being exposed to a bunch of things that could make them sick (and the animals aren't happy about it, either). It's no wonder so many people and organizations have fought to stop it. But did you ever think that maybe brands are testing products on us too, they're just not telling us they're doing it?

I know, I know, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, but that's exactly what e-cigarette brands like JUUL (which corners the e-cigarette market) are doing in this country right now, and young people are on the frontlines of the fallout. Most people assume that the government would have looked at devices that allow people to inhale unknown chemicals into their lungs BEFORE they hit the market. You would think that someone in the government would have determined that they are safe. But nope, that hasn't happened. And vape companies are fighting to delay the government's ability to evaluate these products.

So no one really knows the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, not even JUUL's CEO, nor are they informing the public about the potential risks. On top of that, according to the FDA, there's been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage among high school and middle school-aged children in just the last two years, prompting the U.S. Surgeon General to officially recognize the trend as an epidemic and urge action against it.

These facts have elicited others to take action, as well.

Truth Initiative, the nonprofit best known for dropping the real facts about smoking and vaping since 2000 through its truth campaign. We don't do PSAs. We also need to update so to explain truth – the nonprofit behind the truth youth smoking prevention campaign – you could also say this in a funny way – best known for sharing the facts about smoking and vaping or pull from some old campaigns. Just layer in a description of truth and who the campaign is., is now on a mission to confront e-cigarette brands like JUUL about the lack of care they've taken to inform consumers of the potential adverse side effects of their products. And they're doing it with the help of animal protesters who are tired of seeing humans treated like test subjects.

The March Against JUUL | Tested On Humans | truth www.youtube.com

"No one knows the long-term effects of JUULing so any human who uses one is being used as a lab rat," says, appropriately, Mario the Sewer Rat.

"I will never stop fighting JUUL. Or the mailman," notes Doug the Pug, the Instagram-famous dog star.

Truth, the national counter-marketing campaign for youth smoking prevention, hopes this fuzzy, squeaky, snorty animal movement arms humans with the facts about vaping and inspires them to demand transparency from JUUL and other e-cigarette companies. You can get your own fur babies involved too by sharing photos of them wearing protest gear with the hashtag #DontTestOnHumans. Here's some adorable inspo for you:

The dangerous stuff is already out there, but with knowledge on their side, young people will hopefully make the right choices and fight companies making the wrong ones. If you need more convincing, here are the serious facts.

Over the last decade, 127 e-cigarette-related seizures were reported, which prompted the FDA to launch an official investigation in April 2019. Since then, over 215 cases of a new, severe lung illness have sprung up all over the country, with six deaths to date. While scientists aren't yet sure of the root cause, the majority of victims were young adults who regularly vaped and used e-cigarettes. As such, the CDC has launched an official investigation into the potential link.

Sixteen-year-old Luka Kinard, a former frequent e-cigarette-user, is one of the many teens who experienced severe side effects. "Vaping was my biggest addiction," he told NowThis. "It lasted for about 15 months of my high school career." In 2018, Kinard was hospitalized after having a seizure. He also had severe nausea, chest pains, and difficulty breathing.

After the harrowing experience, he quit vaping, and began speaking out about his experience to help inform others and hopefully inspire them to quit and/or take action. "It shouldn't take having a seizure as a result of nicotine addiction like I had for teens to realize that these companies are taking advantage of what we don't know," Kinard said.

Teens are 16 times more likely to use e-cigarettes than adults, and four times more likely to take up traditional smoking as a result, according to truth, and yet the e-cigarette market remains virtually unregulated and untested. In fact, companies like JUUL continue to block and prevent FDA regulations, investing more than $1 million in lawyers and lobbying efforts in the last quarter alone.

Photo by Lindsay Fox/Pixabay

Consumers have a right to know what they're putting in their bodies. If everyone (and their pets) speaks up, the e-cigarette industry will have to make a change. Young people are already taking action across the country. They're hosting rallies nationwide and on October 9 as part of a National Day of Action, young people are urging their friends and classmates to "Ditch JUUL." Will you join them?

For help with quitting e-cigarettes, visit thetruth.com/quit or text DITCHJUUL to 88709 for free, anonymous resources.

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Have you ever watched a movie that's so abysmally bad that you wonder how it ever even got made? Where you think, "Hundreds and hundreds of people had to have been directly involved in the production of this film. Did any of them ever think to say, 'Hey, maybe we should just scrap this idea altogether?"

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