High school valedictorian swaps speech to speak out against Texas’ new abortion law

By: | June 4, 2021

The speech that high school valedictorian Paxton Smith pulled from inside her graduation gown was not the one she had shown the school. So she took a deep breath before launching into it, wondering whether she would be allowed to share her thoughts about Texas’ new restrictive abortion law.

“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,” Smith said in her speech at the graduation ceremony for Lake Highlands High School in Dallas.

Despite swapping her text, Smith finished her speech and got a rousing cheer from her classmates and staff. In the days since her address on Sunday, video of the event has gone viral, and Smith has been praised for speaking her mind.

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