At a recent graduation ceremony in Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas, valedictorian Paxton Smith decided to speak against a Texas law prohibiting abortion after a heartbeat is detected. Instead of expressing hope and delight in her bright prospects, she lamented, “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.”
D Magazine reported on the story, resulting in prominent leftists cheering Paxton for her ostensible bravery. Feminist writer Jessica Valenti, former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, Rep. Veronica Escobar, and the pro-abortion organization NARAL all endorsed Smith’s use of her graduation speech. The biggest name on the list of supporters was no less than Hillary Clinton, who tweeted, “That took guts.”
No, it didn’t take guts. Rather, to quote Clinton yet again, it took a village. It took a village of voices — from school, from the government, from mass media, from her peers — to compel an otherwise accomplished young woman to trample on her greatest moment to date with insipid abortion advocacy.
Three things stand out about Smith’s valedictorian speech: its inanity, its cowardice, and its selfishness. Instead of rolling their eyes at another young person taking up a leftist cause, conservatives should see it as a challenge to take on the culture in earnest.
To begin, it’s important to understand that Smith didn’t give an argument — she gave a narrative. What she said regarding limits on abortion isn’t based on reasoning and facts, but on assumptions and feelings. The new heartbeat bill makes her feel like her future and autonomy are threatened.
She won’t explain why she feels that way. If she did, it would become clear that her assumptions are wrong or exaggerated. She assumes a baby is not a person, pregnancy would ruin her future, being sexually active is a given, the new bill would prevent her from aborting her potential child, abortion at any time equates to individual freedom and prosperity, and her perspective is the only legitimate perspective on this matter.
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