Texas Valedictorian Changes Speech to Condemn Anti-Abortion Law
Texas graduate Paxton Smith alters her valedictorian speech last-minute to push back against the restrictive abortion law that was recently signed.
Valedictorian Paxton Smith of Lake Highlands High School delivered a rousing abortion rights speech at her graduation.
Smith was responding to a new “heartbeat bill” that Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently signed into law. The bill not only bans abortions after six weeks — before many individuals know they are pregnant — but enables citizens to file civil lawsuits against anyone who is considered an ally in the process, including doctors, clinic staff, or a patient's family and friends.
This new law does not include any exceptions. During her speech Smith said, “I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail, I am terrified that if I am raped, then my hopes and aspirations and dreams and efforts for my future will no longer matter. I hope that you can feel how gut-wrenching that is, I hope that you can feel how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you," according to CBS Dallas.
The grad received positive responses from her classmates and the media, including Hilary Clinton.
According to CBS Dallas, however, the Richardson Independent School District issued a statement saying speeches will be reviewed more closely in coming years.
Smith stated that she was nervous about the reaction from her school, but that did not stop her from sharing her passionate thoughts during her speech.
"I cannot give up this platform to promote complacency and peace when there is a war on my body and a war on my rights. A war on the rights of your mothers, a war on the rights of your sisters, a war on the rights of your daughters. We cannot stay silent," she said.
Trending on Inside Edition
Chris Watts Murder Investigation: FBI File Reveals How Agents Discovered Bodies of His Wife and 2 DaughtersCrime
Washington Winery Wants Answers as to Who Drained Thousands of Gallons of Wine Estimated at Over $600KOffbeat
Golden Bachelor' Scandal: Gerry Turner Dumped Ex After 10lb. Weight Gain, Forced Her to Move to Motel: ReportEntertainment
Graphic Crime Scene Photos Released in Murder Case of 13-Year-Old Accused of Stabbing to Death MomCrime
Ohio Man on His Deathbed Reveals to Wife and Daughter He Was a Fugitive Who Robbed a BankHuman Interest
Florida Woman, 22, Posed as Teen and Sexually Assaulted Minor 30 Times, Sent Classmates His Sex Tape: PoliceCrime