Nearly four million women give birth in the United States each year, but only a handful have ever done so while serving in Congress. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna is about to be one of them. The Florida Republican is expecting her first child in late August, marking a historic rarity on Capitol Hill.
“We are very excited to welcome our son later this summer,” Luna tells TIME. “Children are a blessing and we could not have asked for a greater gift.”
Luna would be only the 12th member of Congress to give birth while in office out of more than 12,500 legislators who have served in either chamber since the U.S. Congress convened 234 years ago. That’s less than 0.1%. It’s a statistic reflective of a body that, for most of its history, has been disproportionately occupied by men, and still is.
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Roughly 28 percent of the 118th Congress is female, according to the Pew Research Center, the highest proportion in American history. There are also more millennial and Gen Z lawmakers roaming the House of Representatives than ever before, driving its median age down slightly from 59 in the last Congress to 58. The Senate, on the other hand, remains older, with a median age of 65.
Yet a younger Congress with more women could mean that pregnant legislators casting votes may become less of an anomaly over time. In fact, a quarter of congressional pregnancies, including Luna’s, have happened over the last five years. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat who lost both legs serving in Iraq, had a child in 2018, making her the first U.S. senator to ever give birth while in office. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican and the House Conference Chair, birthed her first child in 2021.
Luna, 34, is part of a new class of younger and more diverse freshman lawmakers. She was the director of Hispanic outreach for the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA before winning office last year. Her victory made her the first Mexican-American female elected to Congress from Florida.
She met her husband, Andy Gamberzky, while they were both in the U.S. Air Force. After Gambersky returned from Afghanistan, where he was shot by enemy combatants, Luna wrote a book in 2021 about the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on military service members.
On the Hill, she has already made a name for herself as a charismatic and social-media-savvy legislator with a knack for going viral. A member of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, she secured a slot on the powerful House Oversight Committee in her first term. In March, she became one of the first Republicans in Congress to endorse Donald Trump for the 2024 presidential election.
Luna is currently with a delegation of House members visiting South Korea that is set to return on Tuesday. After that, she will have a busy three months in Washington before the annual congressional summer recess starts at the end of July. The break will serendipitously coincide with her due date. “Over the summer, we’re actually in session a lot,” she says. “Then obviously in August,” she adds whimsically, “I’ll be trying not to have a panic attack.”
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