Texas Valedictorian Blasts State’s Abortion Ban

in her graduation speech

By Democracy Now

HAVANA TIMES – In Dallas, Texas, a high school class valedictorian tossed out her pre-approved commencement speech at her graduation on Sunday and instead delivered a passionate denouncement of Texas’s assault on reproductive rights. Lake Highlands High School graduate Paxton Smith was responding to a bill signed last month by Republican Governor Greg Abbott banning all abortions about six weeks into a pregnancy.

Paxton Smith: “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. I hope that you can feel how gut-wrenching that is. I hope you can feel how dehumanizing it is to have the autonomy over your own body taken away from you.”

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