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High-School Valedictorian Celebrates Abortion in Her Commencement Speech

Women protest Georgia’s “heartbeat bill” at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Ga, May 7, 2019. (Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

This year’s valedictorian at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas, has gone viral for her commencement speech, in which she celebrated abortion and attacked her home state for passing a bill to protect unborn children.

Paxton Smith ditched remarks that had been pre-approved by the school and replaced them with a speech criticizing the recently passed heartbeat bill, which allows citizens to sue doctors who knowingly perform an abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

In her speech, Smith asserted that 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.”

“I was very upset that the heartbeat bill was passing, and I think I was struggling to focus on something that I was working on for school,” Smith later told CNN of her decision. “I had to write down some of my thoughts on paper to get what I felt out, and it was at that point that I decided to change the speech.”

Smith has received praise for her speech from a variety of prominent progressives, including Hillary Clinton, Jennifer Aniston, and Democratic opponents of the heartbeat bill in Texas.

It’s little surprise that progressives are hailing this ode to abortion rights, but the most disheartening thing about Smith’s speech is not that it went viral for celebrating abortion. It’s that this successful young woman is sincerely convinced that young women such as herself cannot find fulfillment or reach their goals unless they have the ability to dispense with their unborn children.

Here’s how Smith put it:

I have dreams and hopes and ambitions. Every girl graduating today does, and we have spent our entire lives working towards our future, and without our input and without our consent our control over that future has been stripped away from us. 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.

This is eerily reminiscent of the acceptance speech that actress Michelle Williams gave at the Golden Globes last year, when she insisted that her many career achievements would have been impossible “without employing a woman’s right to choose.”

Though I’m sure they believe otherwise, neither Williams nor Smith used her public platform to advocate authentic women’s empowerment. Instead, they promoted the demeaning message that women cannot succeed unless they sacrifice their unborn children on the altar of their other dreams, as if having a child is incompatible with having a meaningful life.

A truly pro-woman mindset would acknowledge the beauty and goodness of motherhood and would reject the harmful lie that an unborn child deserves to die because his existence will kill his mother’s future.


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