A student has gone viral for her moving speech on abortion laws in Texas.
Paxton Smith, a high school valedictorian, went off-script to make a political statement at her recent graduation and the clip is now spreading like wildfire.
She said: “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.
“I have dreams and hopes and ambition. Every girl graduating today does. 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.
“I hope that you can feel how gut-wrenching that is, I hope that you can feel how dehumanising it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you.”
Since sharing her thoughts, Paxton has received tons of praise on social media.
One woman commented: “I was lucky to give my high school’s valedictorian speech. Something I could only do because my teenage parents did something actually brave and gave me life.”
Another added: “‘Dehumanising’ – 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.”
The speech even reached 2016 Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, who tweeted: “This took guts. Thank you for not staying silent, Paxton.”
As of September, the heartbeat bill will go into effect across Texas, which is one of the strictest abortion laws in the country.
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