All Politics is Local

Badass women of Washington

In a segment titled “Badass Women of Washington,” CNN recently featured U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, who recounted the birth of her daughter deemed the “miracle baby.”

Abigail was the first baby to survive bilateral renal agenesis, commonly referred to as Potter’s sequence, or syndrome. She weighed 2 pounds 12 ounces when she was born and had no kidneys.

At the time, Herrera Beutler was told Abigail would die.

Dana Bash, the CNN anchor, asked the Congresswoman and her husband, Daniel Beutler, if they considered taking the doctor’s advice and going across the street for an abortion.

Daniel Buetler said no way. He had heard the heartbeat.

The couple said from the start they decided, “we have to contend.”

Once their story went public, a stranger alerted them to an experimental solution.

“Do you think in all honestly you were successful because you were a member of Congress and you could convince the doctor to listen to  you?” Bash asked, a question Herrera Beutler commonly fields.

“I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure,” the Congresswoman said, but she said because they went through the treatment, Abigail isn’t the only one to survive the syndrome, she’s just the first.

Herrera Beutler and her husband also have a younger son, Ethan. The Congresswoman is part of another unique group as well – she is only one of three members of Congress to give birth twice while serving, according to information from her staff. There have been 10 women who have had a child while serving. Another Republican, Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is the only person to have three children while in office.

Her husband, Daniel, takes care of the children while Herrera Beutler serves in Congress.

“What I’m proud of is he’s showing my daughter, he’s showing my son that a real man looks at a family and says, ‘How can I help lead this family?’ and for him, right now, that means he’s taking care of my baby and he gave her his kidney, right? So, he’s quite an amazing person and I hope to get the chance to do the same for him,” she said.

 

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .