Texas High School Valedictorian Goes Off Script in her Speech to Condemn Abortion Law
When Texas Governor Greg Abbott passed the “heartbeat” abortion law, Smith decided that she didn’t want to talk about television and media anymore in her graduation speech. She wanted to talk about something that felt much more important to her.
As a Texas resident, the “heartbeat” abortion law affects Smith and every young lady she knows in Texas. The law states that an abortion cannot be performed once a fetal heartbeat has been detected. In addition, if an abortion is performed after a fetal heartbeat is detected, anyone can sue the abortion provider up to $10,000.
A heartbeat can be present as early as 6 weeks into a pregnancy. Some women do not even know they are pregnant that early on.
Smith decided that her graduation speech was the perfect opportunity for her to speak out about the new abortion law. She used her time on stage to explain why she feels that this law is “a war on my body and a war on my rights.”
Smith told TODAY, “I felt like, ultimately, there was no better group of people that I could talk to because I knew that in that audience there were people who were going to disagree with what I had to say.”
Hear Smith’s graduation speech for yourself in the video below.
In Texas, Lake Highlands High School valedictorian, Paxton Smith, switched out her approved speech to talk about abortion rights. pic.twitter.com/4xsoHARDSs
— Kolleen (@littlewhitty) June 2, 2021
There are mixed thoughts about Smith’s speech. Hillary Clinton is impressed by it. She tweeted, “This took guts. Thank you for not staying silent, Paxton.”
Meanwhile, other men and women are glad that Smith spoke out.
I am so incredibly proud of this woman. And proud that she speaks for me and for all the other women and girls in Texas. As a 37 year old woman, I also felt so incredibly dehumanized when this bill passed the @TXlege. But we will fight back. Texas women will not be silenced.
— Jessie (@NMJessie) June 2, 2021
“Dehumanizing” – I’ve never heard it put just that way, but it absolutely is. I can’t imagine what it must feel like for a young woman to see these laws over their bodies being passed by performative, Bible-spewing politicians, pandering for votes.
— Boutros F*CK AROUND FIND OUT Ghali 🌊🌊🌊 (@deacon451) June 2, 2021
Yet, other people point out that you can have a full life even if you have an unexpected pregnancy at a young age.
Imagine having such a lack of hope that you think your only chance for a good life is the ability to abort your child. I was an unwanted pregnancy and I also got pregnant in my 20’s- my child’s father and I got married and I have had an incredibly full life, finished college etc
— •h a r p e r• (@AshbyHarper) June 2, 2021
What do you think of Smith’s graduation speech? Do you think the new Texas “heartbeat” law is “a war” on women’s bodies?