(CNS News) -- Paxton Smith, valedictorian of her class at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas, delivered a pro-abortion speech in lieu of her previously approved remarks on Sunday, an unexpected speech that went viral on social media.
“I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail, I am terrified that if I'm raped, then my hopes and aspirations and dreams and efforts for my future will no longer matter,” Smith said.
The high school graduate also criticized a bill signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), which prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Smith said: "This is a problem and it is a problem that cannot wait and 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."
D Magazine reported that Smith was originally planning on speaking about media and perception but felt compelled to speak about the recently passed Texas “heartbeat bill.”
Her school had approved her speech on media and had no idea what they were in for next. Smith prepared the second speech ahead of time, even sharing it with her parents, according to D Magazine.
“I hope you can feel how gut-wrenching it is, how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you,” Smith said.
Before the speech, students were warned that if they deviated from the pre-approved remarks, their microphones would be cut off, Advocate Lake Highlands reported.
But that didn’t happen to Paxton Smith. It is unclear why this particular speech was allowed, or whether a conservative version would’ve received the same discretion.
The law that was the subject of Smith’s speech was signed May 19 by Gov. Abbott and prohibits abortions after a heartbeat is detected inside the womb, which usually occurs around six weeks into pregnancy.
“There is a groundswell of pro-life activity happening in state legislatures across the nation as lawmakers challenge the extreme status quo permitted by Roe: abortion on-demand, up until the moment of birth,” said Susan B. Anthony List State Policy Director Sue Liebel.
“Since January, 536 pro-life bills have been introduced with more than 60 signed into law – a strong rebuke of the deeply unpopular abortion agenda being pursued by the Biden-Harris administration and their allies in the abortion lobby,” said Liebel, praising the effort of Abbott and the state legislature.
Texas is the latest among a growing number of states passing this type of legislation, joining South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Dakota, reports The SBA List.
Smith has received an onslaught of fawning reactions from the leftist media, including glowing coverage from Vice, NowThis, and Teen Vogue. The teenager told Advocate Lake Highlands that she was “overwhelmed” by the positive response.