Texas high schooler Paxton Smith gave a surprise valedictorian’s address at her high school’s graduation reacting to the state’s attempt to restrict abortion. She said she needed access to abortion to accomplish her goals. Without it, she was “terrified.” Jacqueline Abernathy, once an ambitious high school star herself, explains why she’s so wrong.
“I have dreams, hopes, and ambitions,” you said. “Every girl here does. We have spent our whole lives working towards our futures, and without our consent or input, our control over our futures has been stripped away from us.”
You were talking about Texas’s new law banning abortions after the baby has a heartbeat, in your address as high school valedictorian. “I am terrified,” you continued, “that if my contraceptives fail me, that if I’m raped, then my hopes and efforts and dreams for myself will no longer be relevant. 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.”
It’s brought you national fame. But I’m so sorry you don’t understand what women can do.
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