Texas High School Valedictorian Goes Off Script in her Speech to Condemn Abortion Law

@littlewhitty via Twitter

Paxton Smith had the honor of being her class valedictorian. The high school senior at Lake Highlands High School prepared a speech to give at the graduation ceremony. It had already been approved by the school, and it mainly addressed television and media.

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.

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.

Yet, other people point out that you can have a full life even if you have an unexpected pregnancy at a young age.

What do you think of Smith’s graduation speech? Do you think the new Texas “heartbeat” law is “a war” on women’s bodies?